Would you add crickets to your dinner plate?

Entomo Farms thinks you should.

Their cricket powder contains twice as much protein compared to beef, more calcium than milk, includes all nine essential amino acids, has more iron than spinach and is organic and gluten-free. All of this is accomplished by using a fraction of the farming essentials, such as water and feed that typical beef, pork, and chicken require.

Entomo Farms is establishing a new paradigm of perception and desirability to motivate people worldwide to consume insect protein. There was tremendous interest from commercial retailers and food producers to sell the cricket powder, but first Entomo Farms had to identify the product’s shelf life so it could provide a “best before” date.

Entomo Farms did not have the necessary expertise, so it partnered with Loyalist College’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (ARC). Over a two-year period, Loyalist College measured parameters such as fat, protein, and moisture using advanced technologies such as supercritical carbon dioxide extraction to determine product stability and shelf life.

The results of this study provided Entomo Farms with a minimum shelf life of two years for their cricket powder. As a result, large retailers and producers such as Loblaws and Breadcraft (New Zealand) have put Entomo Farms’ cricket powder on their shelves and in their products, generating a minimum of a 20 percent increase in revenue for Entomo Farms since 2017.

Although commercialization was the goal, the impacts of this project are much larger than a profitable product and income generator. Entomo Farms envisions that by having a high quality, high protein product that is stable without refrigeration, it will give governments and development organizations the ability to provide food security for areas stricken by a natural disaster or for populations in Third World regions where the energy resources for food storage are sparse or null.

“The groundbreaking and pioneering research we are conducting in partnership with Loyalist is helping to understand key elements of insect foods, specifically cricket powder performance, characteristics and functionality. It is creating confidence and normalizing this emerging food category. We are excited and look forward to many more collaborative projects in the future.” – Dr. Jarrod Goldin, President of Entomo Farms

In February 2019, Entomo Farms and the ARC will once again be partnering to further advance the world of insect protein innovation by investigating extraction of various nutrients from insects, to be used in food, pharmacology, health and beauty sectors.

Someday soon, this alternative source of protein could become a household staple and eating hickory-flavoured crickets, the new norm.

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