HELSINKI, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Technical Research Center of Finland, VTT has developed food ingredients from mealworms and crickets, which are expected to be used in food processing in the future.
The raw materials based in insects can be used to produce meatballs and falafel, said VTT in a press release issued on Thursday.
Researchers at VTT have developed a dry fractionation method, which can easily produce insect fractions with different flavors and degrees of coarseness, it said.
Fat is removed from the insects before the fractionation, so the insect fractions contain up to 80 percent of crude protein. The insect fractions are suitable ingredients for various solid foods.
VTT said it has tested the fractions as raw materials to make meatballs and falafel balls by replacing 5 percent to 18 percent of ingredients.
As a result, a small addition of the insect fractions into falafel ingredients tripled the protein content of falafel balls, as insects are rich in high-quality protein, explained VTT.
Insect eating is common to many cultures in the world.
In November 2015, the European Union agreed on a new regulation on novel foods. The regulation, which will come into force at the beginning of 2018, brings whole insects and their parts explicitly under its scope.
Therefore, the introduction of insect eating in Western countries will require the development of insect processing into ready-to-use raw materials for foodstuffs, said VTT.