Insect flour, an ally against obesity: “It has a lower fat content”. How the “disgust factor” could be removed STUDY

According to a study, incorporating meal obtained from insects into processed foods could make people give up their reluctance to eat them, reports the Independent.

Most people would not be willing to eat insects. PHOTO Shutterstock (Archive)

According to the researchers, insects are high in protein, easier to grow, lower in fat and have a lower environmental impact than animals, and this could help fight obesity.

However, a survey by academics showed that most people would not be willing to eat insects.

The online survey was conducted among 603 UK adults between 2019 and 2020.

People were asked questions about their age, gender, ethnicity and level of education, as well as the extent to which they were concerned about the environment.

They were also asked to complete a “food disgust scale”, which assessed their disgust for less-eaten parts of animals, such as organs, as well as moldy food.

The survey also included questions about how they would perceive the taste of insects. Almost half (47%) said they would not be willing to eat insects, while 40% said they were not sure.

Only 13% of respondents said they would be willing to eat insects regularly.

Presenting the results at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice, Dr Maxine Sharps, from De Montfort University, said: “The disgust factor associated with eating whole insects could be overcome by incorporating insect meal into processed foods.

This has been successfully achieved with rice products enriched with cricket or grasshopper meal in other parts of the world.”

Lead author Dr Lauren McGale, from Edge Hill University in Lancashire, added: “Insects are a rich source of protein and trace elements and could help find a solution to the problems of obesity and malnutrition.

Some protein-rich insects, such as ground crickets or freeze-dried mealworms, are cheaper and easier to raise, often lower in fat and have a lower environmental impact than regular animals.

But if insects are to become an integral part of the Western diet, disgust is a very big challenge to overcome.”Dr. Sharps also stated.