Cricket flour (or cricket powder) is a protein-rich powder made from crickets, using various processes. Cricket flour differs from true flours made from grains by being composed mainly of protein rather than starches and dietary fiber.
Cricket flour contains nutrients such as the nine essential amino acids, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin B12, B2, and fatty acids.
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.
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.
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). The price is high due to limited commercializing and processors. Cricket flour is sold in limited areas, but mainly online and wholesale stores.
The average prices for frozen crickets are about $9 per pound. These can be utilized to make cricket flour at home.
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.
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.