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Cricket flour (or cricket powder) is a protein-rich powder made from crickets, using various processes.[1] Cricket flour differs from true flours made from grains by being composed mainly of protein rather than starches and dietary fiber.

Nutritional information

Cricket flour contains nutrients such as the nine essential amino acids, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin B12, B2, and fatty acids.[2][3]

Food safety and processing

Main article: Insects as food § Food safety

In Western countries, when raised for human consumption, insects are held to the same safety standards as any other food.

Processing can be done either commercially or locally depending on the popularity in a particular region. The process begins with removing the insides of the insect, although this step is optional. Then, they are shipped to become preserved or freeze-dried, which is done by using hessian or polypropylene. After they are completely preserved/dried, they are shipped for storage. Insects can be refrigerated or processed into powders.[4]

Cricket flour is made with freeze dried crickets. Then, the crickets are baked to make the processing easier. After they are baked, they are ground into very fine pieces. The freezing, baking, and drying makes a dark brown flour with a powdery texture.[3]

Cost

Prices can vary depending on location, but the average cost of pre-made cricket flour is around $40 per pound (4,200 to 4,800 crickets).[5] The price is high due to limited commercializing and processors.[6] Cricket flour is sold in limited areas, but mainly online and wholesale stores.

The average prices for frozen crickets are about $9 per pound.[7] These can be utilized to make cricket flour at home.

Food products with cricket flour

Pulverized freeze-dried crickets are used in processed food products, such as:

Cricket flour can be utilized as a complete replacement for flour. The taste is described as very nutty, and foods normally prepared with wheat flour may cook differently.[3]

Allergies

People with shellfish allergies may need to use caution when consuming cricket flour. Also, there is a risk of contact with pathogens with consuming raw insects.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ Aaron T. Dossey; Juan A. Morales-Ramos; M. Guadalupe Rojas, eds. (2016). Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients: Production, Processing and Food Applications. Academic Press. ISBN 9780128028926.
  2. ^ Wilson, Charles (24 February 2015). "Cricket Nutrition". CricketFlours. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "What the Heck is Cricket Flour?". Farmers’ Almanac. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Edible Insects: Future prospects for food and security" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Tracking Retail Cricket Powder Prices • Slices of Blue Sky". Slices of Blue Sky. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  6. ^ Peters, Adele (21 August 2017). "This Giant Automated Cricket Farm Is Designed To Make Bugs A Mainstream Source Of Protein". Fast Company. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  7. ^ "We Need More Cricket Farmers: The Price Of Our Growing Taste For Insects". The Chicagoist. Archived from the original on 6 November 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Are People Allergic to Eating Insects?".