Compliments to the authors for pulling together so much information into one location.
Lamsal, B., H. Wang, P. Pinsirodom, and A. T. Dossey. 2019. Applications of insect-derived protein ingredients in food and feed industry. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 96: 105-123.
A few highlights...
Protein Sources- This section set the tone for the paper as it reviewed protein and its value to society, current usages, and sources. I particularly found the discussion of plant based vs animal based protein of interest as it relates to conversion rates when these materials are consumed. The authors used this section to build the justification for insects as a protein source.
Protein Location- Some discussion I found particularly interesting was the overview provided on protein content of insects and the location of these proteins in the insects. The reason this section was particularly interesting to me is it emphasized not all protein can be extracted from insects and used. This limitation is partly due to the protein being bound in regions such as the exoskeleton.
Cultural Approval- A discussion of cultural acceptance of insect-based protein was also discussed (comparison between groups in Germany and China where the second group was more accepting of insects as food than the other). This topic pops up a few times as it remains a major challenge to the insects as food industry.
Terminology- The authors review the use of select terms, such as flour, as related to different sectors with the insects of food and feed industry. They suggest the use of some terms needs to be limited to specific aspects of the industry or avoided all together. For example, as with the term, flour, as it relates to plant-based material and could potential ruffle feathers of the wheat industry (much like the use of the term meat or milk).
Check out these links related to controversy of term use: Meat and Milk
Processing Considerations- A nice overview of how insects are processed today as related to industrial production. They authors discuss oven drying, freeze drying, and other techniques applied. They also discuss the limitations of these techniques as related to economics, efficiency, and quality assurance.
Product Development. A summary of the host of products that can be produced with insects was provided. This section included a table listing different items currently on the market. They also discuss the economics of some products as feed replacements. Fo example, they review articles that discussed replacing broiler diets with BSF-based meal and the positive data generated to date. Mainly, findings indicating replacing standard diets with BSF-based diets resulted in similar production levels and efficiencies (no negative impact on feed conversion or production). The same was determined in certain fish studies using insect meal as a feed.
Challenges to Industry. Primary hurdles faced by the industry that were discussed in the article are not surprising- How to increase production? How to insure quality and safety? The need to diversity products through new insects being explored for their use as food/feed as well as subcomponents of the insects that can be harvested to increase product diversity. I appreciate the authors urging greater continued research (something I enjoy- as you can imagine) and collaboration with industry.
Overall- A nice article that can bring a person up to speed with the industry globally.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Continuing Efforts to Expand Understanding
Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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