If humans are going to increase their consumption of insects, then we must be sure that insects are in fact nutritious enough for us to eat. Food is not just food anymore, it must be nutritious as well! Fortunately, insects are an excellent source of protein and healthy fatty acids, which makes it great for human consumption.
Obviously, all insects are not the same and neither are their nutritional value. The diverse types of insects provide different macro- and micronutrient, and even within the species it can vary greatly, depending on the stage of the insect’s lifecycle and the insect’s nutritional habits in the specific area. By feeding the insects with the same food, it is possible to get some standard measures on what it contains.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), have published an excellent report on insects for human consumptions, where they have published their values for the Tenebrio Molitor, which is the mealworm we are producing. In the dried worms they found the following macronutrients per 100 grams:
Protein: 49,1 grams
Fat: 35,2 grams
We have also had our own worms tested by Eurofinns, and we are thrilled with the results so far. We are going to continue testing our worms to maintain the best possible quality, which might cause some slight changes in the values. We do feel confident that we will be able to maintain the quality of the worms, and maybe even make them even more nutritious by changing their diets. The worms we have tested were not freeze-dried as the ones FAO tested, so they contain more water. Our results are the following per 100 grams of worms:
Nutritional value per 100 grams:
Energy kj/kcal 694/166
Fatty acids 7.9 grams
- saturated fatty acids 1.8 grams
- monounsaturated fatty acids 2.8 grams
- polyunsaturated fatty acids 2.8 grams
Carbohydrates 3.6 grams
- sugar 1.3 grams
Fibers 0 grams
Protein 20 grams
Salt 0.14 grams
The composition of amino acid and lipids are great for human nutrition, and we will soon be able to publish the findings of those from our own worms.
The mealworms are not just great in macronutrients, but also rich in copper, sodium, potassium, iron, zink and selenium. When it comes to vitamins mealworms are generally slightly better than beef, and we look forward publish our data here as well.
All in all, the mealworms, as well as other insects, is a rich source of protein, fat and even some vital micronutrients as well. It is a great substitution for people who want to cut back on their consumption of regular meat, and eating insects is a perfectly suitable replacement for traditional Danish meat consumption.
“It is a great substitution for people who want to cut back on their consumption of regular meat, and eating insects is a perfectly suitable replacement for traditional Danish meat consumption.”