Health Female Adda
6 months ago
Cricket flour: is it really worth the hype?

‘Entomophagy movement’ is growing rapidly. It was DeFoliart in 199 who declared that insects have been identified as a potential ‘food of the future’. Local ‘traditional’ practices of eating insects are anything but new. Our ancestors depended a lot on insects for their potential nutritional benefits and today it has been grabbing attention of the food industries due to its nutritive value. Hitha Bhankharia, Manager- Product Development & Clinical Research, Digestive Health Institute by Dr.Muffi will help us in understanding the hype behind cricket flour and if it is really worth it.

What makes cricket flour unique? High protein and high fibre are the highlighting factors of cricket flour. Indians, however, majorly follow a vegetarian diet. The ones consuming meat /non-vegetarian sources of protein also consume only a selective lot. Acceptance of cricket flour in their regular diet is a difficult thing. Taste, familiarity of the food, personal interest, religious values etc. all of this contributes to rejection towards entomophagy.

What is the nutritional value of cricket flour? Cricket flour is made by milling whole crickets. The nutritive value is kept intact. The salient features include high protein content, complete amino acid profile, fibre content, and gluten free.

Why is cricket flour worth the health food hype? Since it comes under the high protein category — there is a hype about the flour. The factors promoting cricket flour is the high protein content, and complete amino acid profile. Another highlight is the gluten-free aspect. Hence, it’s being promoted for the protein content for negligent carbohydrate content.

But is it really the new-age protein powder? Since cricket flour is milled from whole crickets, it provides a full nutritional profile that is high in protein, nutrients, and amino acids. However, replacing the protein powders in India seems difficult.

Vegetarian alternatives for cricket flour: The vegetarian alternatives include Hemp seed, Pea protein, Nutritional yeast and Tempeh

Food applications of cricket flour: Cricket powder is now used in protein bars and baked goods. Baked goods using cricket powder include mint cricket cookies with a chocolate exterior, soft doughy cricket brownies with a thin crispy layer, and moist banana cricket bread.

It is used in a lot of fine dining cooking because of its distinct flavor:
It has a mild taste with a slight nutty flavour. It’s now being used in fine-dining dishes, especially the Italian cuisine. Dishes like Antipasto Burrata, Seasonal vegetable cricket (flour) tempura, pumpkin vellutata soup, Crické Fusilli with arugula pesto and Crické tarts contain cricket flour.

Image source: Shutterstock

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