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Edible insects as innovative foods: Nutritional and functional assessments

Patel, Seema, Rasul Suleria, Hafiz Ansar, Rauf, Abdur
Trends in food science & technology 2019
Crustacea, allergenicity, crabs, diet, edible insects, food security, foods, human health, hunger, krill, lobsters, malnutrition, minerals, pesticides, proteins, shrimp, tissues
In the face of rising population, food insecurity is emerging as a global challenge. Nutritious sources of food are frantically being searched for. Underutilized food candidates are being assessed for feeding the global population. In this regard, Arthropods, the largest phylum fits the bill, and holds tremendous promise, without harming the environment. Loaded in proteins, fat and minerals, the “edible insects” can alleviate hunger and malnutrition. In fact, in every country, entomophagy is practiced, though mostly among the low-income groups. However, few hiccups lie in the path of their popularization. Their allergenic tissues and pathogen-carrying traits impose threats to human health. Further, the aversion of the Western world towards the insects as a food article impedes their recognition as food. While some crustaceans as shrimp, lobsters, crabs, and krill are gourmet food articles, with high demand, the logicality of neglecting insects as likely food commodities appear to be a psychological perception. Researchers and global regulatory bodies are encouraging further investigations and inclusion of the edible-grade insects to diet. As this movement is at the early stages and given due impetus, it can play significant role in quenching world hunger and reducing the usage of lethal pesticides, this review has been woven around the objective of ‘insects as human food’.