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Revista chilena de nutrición

On-line version ISSN 0717-7518


AVENDANO, Constanza; SANCHEZ, Manuel  and  VALENZUELA, Carolina. Insects: an alternative for animal and human feeding. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2020, vol.47, n.6, pp.1029-1037. ISSN 0717-7518.

In recent years insects have been proposed as the food of the future, however, the following question arises: could they really be used as a food alternative in these times? Thus, the aim of this review was to analyze whether different types of insect products are a good option for food and feed. Worldwide, there are more than 1.900 species of edible insects; those most used in the production of food for humans are crickets (Acheta domesticus), black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) and mealworms (Tenebrio molitor). For animal feed, soldier fly larvae and mealworms are the most studied, thus, this review focuses on these. For humans, there are a lot of foods that contain insects such as: cereal bars, pastas, drinks, beers, hamburgers, candies, snacks and also dehydrated insects. These foods are produced in Europe, Australia, South Africa and the United States and can be purchased online. For animals, there is insect meal, concentrated food and dehydrated or live larvae. Animal studies have focused on the feeding of fish, but also on other species (dogs, cats, pigs, birds, exotic animals, etc.). In several European countries, Australia, South Africa, United States and even in Chile there are industries that process and market insect flours. Insects are mainly composed of protein and fat in high concentrations, are harmless, and some have functional properties, such as antimicrobial peptides, which, in conclusion, make them a viable alternative for the feeding of humans and animals.

Keywords : Animals; Entomophagy; Food; Humans; Insects.

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