Is cockroach milk the superfood of the future?
A cockroach is shown in this file photo. (©Lovely Bird/Shutterstock)
Published Friday, August 5, 2016 2:45PM EDT
Could we one day be eating cookies and ice cream made with cockroach milk? Researchers in India have discovered that a viviparous cockroach (one that gives birth to live young rather than laying eggs) produces a substance three times more calorific than buffalo milk.
Insects are increasingly looking like the food of the future. In years to come, man may make the leap from grasshopper snacks to cockroach milk as a source of energy.
A study undertaken in India has analyzed this substance. The research showed that the secretions produced by a particular species of roach are three times more calorific than buffalo milk (which is rich in fat and protein and four times more calorific than cow's milk).
Protein, sugar and fat
The female Diploptera punctata secretes liquid food after having given birth to her young. They feed and thrive on this substance produced in their mother's intestine. This cockroach milk, which does not resemble cow's milk, is rich in protein, sugar and fat.
The next step for the researchers is to find out how to produce this roach milk on a large scale. The study's biochemist says that these milk protein crystals do not taste bad, and could be one day used for human consumption. One solution could be a yeast-based production process. But anyone who is scared of insects need not worry too much; it will take years to complete the project and evaluate whether this substance is toxic to humans.