According to a recent study published by the University of Teramo, grasshoppers, silkworms and crickets have an antioxidant capacity similar to that of fresh orange juice.
Entomophagy, or the practice of eating insects, has aroused cautious interest thanks to the ongoing need to preserve agricultural resources and to reduce the ecological impact of animal food on the planet.
The study looked at antioxidant levels in a range of commercially available edible insects. The results show that water-soluble extracts of grasshopper, silkworm, and cricket display the highest values of antioxidant capacity (TEAC), 5-fold higher than fresh orange juice. Cicada, giant water bugs, Thai zebra tarantula, and black scorpions, meanwhile, have negligible values.
Although it’s widely known that insects and invertebrates represent a valid source of proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids, the practice is still viewed as repellent by many consumers. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), however, insects are part of the common diet of at least two billion people in the world.
“More evidences are needed in order to understand if the practice of eating insects and invertebrates might contribute to modulate oxidative stress in humans,” the study concluded.
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