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Edible insects as innovative foods: Nutritional and functional assessments

Patel, Seema, Suleria, Hafiz Ansar Rasul, Rauf, Abdur
Trends in food science & technology 2019 v.86 pp. 352-359
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 and so far underutilized food candidates are being assessed. In this regard, Arthropoda, the largest phylum in the animal kingdom fits the bill. Especially, the Class Insecta 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 as food articles. Their allergenicity and pathogen-carrying traits impose threats to human health. Further, aversion of the Western world towards the insects as food impedes their dietary inclusion. While some crustaceans as shrimps, lobsters, crabs, and krills are gourmet food articles, with high demand, the logicality of neglecting insects as likely food commodities appear to be a psychological bias. Global regulatory bodies are encouraging further investigations on edible insects. As this movement is at the early stages, and given due impetus, it can play significant role in quenching world hunger without putting strain on the environment, this review has been woven around the vision of ‘insects as sustainable human food’.