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Are insects a good source of protein for humans?

Authors
  • Malla, N.
  • Roos, N.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed
Publisher
Wageningen Academic Publishers
Publication Date
Jun 29, 2023
Volume
9
Issue
7
Pages
841–843
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3920/JIFF2023.x003
Source
Wageningen Academic Publishers
Disciplines
  • EDITORIAL
License
Green

Abstract

When insects are introduced as a novel protein source in human diets, we need to understand the protein quality to compare their nutritional value with other foods. Protein quality assessment methods are based on evaluation of the ability of the protein to meet the amino acid (AA) requirements of the human body. Most available data comes from animal models, either in rats or pigs. The limited available data supports edible insects as a high-quality protein source for human consumption. The farmed insect species considered relevant as an alternative protein source are generally of good quality, and the protein quality of the vast diversity of insect species harvested from the wild across continents are likely to be sources of good quality, though this remains to be assessed. For methodological considerations, the recommended DIAAS (digestible indispensable AA score) method relies on accurately determining the total protein content. When determining total protein based on total nitrogen (N), using the standard conversion factor of 6.25 which disregards the non-protein N in insects, the protein quality is underestimated in comparison with other animal-source foods, such as meat and dairy.

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