Cockroach Milk: the Next Superfood?

Monika Kozub
December 23rd 2016

Goji berries, quinoa, black garlic or chia, we've all have heard about those superfood. A recent research reveals that the next extra nutritious ingredient may be the liquid produced by cockrach mothers to feed their offsprings. Are you willing to try it?

If you're wondering why do cockroaches even have "milk" if they lay eggs, it must be cleared that there is one species which doesn't. Diploptera punctate, a Pacific beetle cockroach, gives birth to live young which grow later in the brood sac, nurtured by their mother. The cockroach milk protein crystals contain almost four times the energy of cow milk and three times the energy of buffalo milk. Moreover it has many essential amino acids, specific lipids and sugars which make it a complete food, both for insects and humans. The liquid doesn't have an actual taste or color so it can be added to almost every snack or drink to make it more nutritive.

Cockroaches are obviously not mammals, so we cannot milk them. The process of collecting the precious protein crystals requires killing the insect but scientists are working on creating a bioengineered yeast. This would allow the production of the same crystals without killing more cockroaches. There are still tests to be executed on toxicity and on the actual impact cockroach milk can have on humans. But the biggest struggle of all may be Western aversion to eating insects.

Source: Forbes, The Washington Post. Photo: My9NJ

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