Are insects a good source of protein for humans?

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When insects are introduced as a novel protein source in human diets, we need to understand the protein quality to compare their nutritional value with other foods. Protein quality assessment methods are based on evaluation of the ability of the protein to meet the amino acid (AA) requirements of the human body. Most available data comes from animal models, either in rats or pigs. The limited available data supports edible insects as a highquality protein source for human consumption. The farmed insect species considered relevant as an alternative protein source are generally of good quality, and the protein quality of the vast diversity of insect species harvested from the wild across continents are likely to be sources of good quality, though this remains to be assessed. For methodological considerations, the recommended DIAAS (digestible indispensable AA score) method relies on accurately determining the total protein content. When determining total protein based on total nitrogen (N), using the standard conversion factor of 6.25 which disregards the non-protein N in insects, the protein quality is underestimated in comparison with other animal-source foods, such as meat and dairy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Insects as Food and Feed
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)841-844
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Edible insects, Protein source, Human consumption, Protein quality

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