Is Insect Protein a Healthy and Sustainable Alternative to Other Protein Sources?
The food sector is witnessing high pressure to adopt sustainable practices due to the increasing world population.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the world population is increasing at a much higher pace. Currently, it is more than 7.8 billion, which is expected to cross the mark of 8 billion by the end of 2022.
Therefore, the food sector is facing the challenge of producing more nutritious items to meet the increasing population demand without finishing future generation resources.
Due to such challenges in the food sector, there is a high demand for meat-related products. Insect based proteins are considered widely to be the solution to the ongoing challenge in the food sector.
Insects Protein- An Overview
Insects are a critical part of the food intake for billions of people worldwide, helping to provide protein, high-quality essential fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as iron and calcium.
Insect proteins refer to top-quality feedstocks found in insects and can be used to feed fish, pets, and animals. Currently, insect proteins are new feed and food sources and are developing as an alternative to protein sources such as soy and meat.
Protein is a significant element required for the development and growth of both human bodies and animals. There are various benefits of diets full of proteins, such as increasing muscle strength and mass, boosting metabolism, and improving bone strength.
However, approximately one billion people suffer from the problem of insufficient intake of protein globally. To overcome the challenge of protein intake, the demand for insect-based proteins is increasing massively.
Insect Protein Market
According to the BIS Research report, the global insect protein market is expected to grow from a market value of $342.87 million in 2021 to $ 1386.55 million by 2027, at a growing rate of 26.49% during the forecast period of 2022-2027.
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Factors boosting the growth of the insect protein market are as follows:
- Rising requirement for a sustainable source of proteins’
- Rising demand for animal feed
- Several applications of insect protein in agriculture, food, and personal care industries.
However, there are a few challenges becoming obstacles in the growth of the insect protein market, such as:
- Less awareness about insect protein results in low acceptance
- Growing demand for plant-based items
- Allergies problems caused due to insect proteins
Why is There a Need to Adopt Insect Protein?
According to the food and agricultural organization of the United Nations (UN), approximately 33% of the land is utilized for livestock production. With the increasing global populations, the demand for plant proteins is also increasing and resulting to high pressure on the agriculture sector.
Replacing plant proteins with insect-based proteins can be a better alternative solution for reducing the pressure from the farmers.
It is a critical step that allows the agriculture sector to use farming land (a limited resource) in the most effective and sustainable manner.
According to a recent study, there are approximately 2000 edible species of insects found worldwide. Black soldier flies, cricketers, locusts, and mealworms are the most used insect protein worldwide. Other insects, such as lipids, are widely utilized in the preparation of biofuels.
Reason to Adopt Insect Proteins
Following are the top reason why eating insects as a protein source can be an excellent replacement for plant-based proteins
- Edible insects have an equal amount of protein in comparison to animals. However, different insects may have different number of proteins, but the quality is nearly the same in all. For instance, ants, mealworms, and cricketers are known to be insects having a high number of proteins.
- The insect proteins require a low number of resources (such as less water, less land, and low human efforts) compared to the production of animal-based proteins.
- The amount of protein on the Earth is slowly becoming low due to the continuously increasing population of the world and the rising demand for quality proteins. So, the adoption insects as a protein source can help to fight this challenge and meet the growing protein demands.
- Insect proteins will help to reduce the negative environmental impacts, such as reducing the harmful greenhouse gasses.
- Insect proteins contain high amounts of Zinc in them, which is necessary for developing small children and mothers. Using insect proteins can help with fulfilling the requirements of Zinc components in the food.
- Insect proteins can help to provide all the required amino acids and vitamins, such as riboflavin (B2) and thiamine (B1).
Insect proteins are slowly reaching every part of the world. Insects are full of quality proteins, minerals, and minerals which are the daily requirements of the human body. In the coming years, the use of insect proteins can help to overcome the increasing demand for nutritious food from the growing world population.