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Cricket flour is the misnomer term used to refer to 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.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, edible insects such as crickets, mealworms and grasshoppers are nutrient-rich food sources. They are high in complete protein, unsaturated fat, dietary fiber, vitamins and essential minerals. NPR’s The Salt states that “at 12.9 grams of protein per 100 grams, crickets have about half the protein of chicken and beef, which each contain about 25 grams of protein per 100 grams of meat."
Sustainability and food security
Insects are highly nutritious, and products such as cricket have been noted to be a sustainable and environmentally-friendly source of protein. Since crickets grow and reproduce quickly, are easy to maintain and require much less water and feed to produce the equivalent amount of protein as lean ground beef, cricket powder is a product that is simple to produce and thus is an inexpensive and sustainable protein source to feed the world’s growing population.
The key variable in how much water is required to produce livestock is the ‘feed conversion efficiency’, which measures the amount of food needed to produce a given amount of the final product. Insects are significantly more efficient than other livestock in terms of feed conversion because they are cold‐blooded and rely on their environment to control metabolic processes, such as body temperature. To date, one study has examined the water footprint, taking into account the entire production system, of commercially produced insects. This data must be looked at within the context of the percentage of the animal which is edible, as insects are considered to be 80‐100% edible compared with other livestock at 40%–50% . It takes approximately 15,500 L of water to produce 1 kg of live animal weight of beef. Out of which only 40% (0.4kg) is edible. Using the same math, this study showed that it takes only 2,500 L of water to produce 0.8kg of edible cricket protein. That means 80% less water is used in order to produce double the amount of final edible product.
Cricket flour also promotes sustainability by eliminating the use of traditional grain-based flour (which is oftentimes processed heavily and takes longer to produce). Although cricket flour's nutrition may partially be based on what the crickets are fed, it has many benefits in itself. Cricket flour has similar baking properties as actual flour, but gives baked goods a nuttier flavor and grainier texture.
- 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.
- Griopro Cricket Powder. http://www.cricketpowder.com/ Griopro.
- Huis, Arnold Van (2013). "Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security" (PDF). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
- Wilson, Charles (February 24, 2015). "Cricket Nutrition". CricketFlours. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- McCall, Alexander (August 15, 2014). "Startups Pitch Cricket Flour As The Best Protein You Could Eat". NPR. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- Dobermann, D; Swift, J. A; Field, L. M (2017). "Opportunities and hurdles of edible insects for food and feed". Nutrition Bulletin. 42 (4): 293–308. doi:10.1111/nbu.12291.
- Lundy, Mark. "Crickets Are Not a Free Lunch". PLOS ONE. PLOS OONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118785#abstract0.
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