About this Research Topic
The world's population is expected to grow reaching over 9 billion people in 2050. The main consequence of this is that the world will have to produce 70% more food. Livestock production will have to grow rapidly if per capita intake is to be maintained, forcing an increased food/feed output from available agro-ecosystems, resulting in an even greater pressure on the environment. Edible insects contain high quality protein, vitamins and amino acids for humans and animals, as well as a high food conversion rate; besides, they emit less greenhouse gases and ammonia than conventional livestock. Moreover, insects can be grown on organic waste, former foodstuff and even manure. For this purpose, insects have been proposed as a high quality, efficient and sustainable alternative protein source for both food and feed sectors. Results are promising, but as industry interest is growing further information is needed to fully assess the potential of these innovative farmed animals.
Edible insects could be harvested in the wild, reared in small-local farms or produced in large industrial scale plants. Given the novelty of the sector, sustainable technology, development of protocols for quality control, processing methodologies as well as rearing performances data are nowadays needed in order to improve knowledge in this research sector. Important issues are also to advance our understanding of marketing, consumer acceptance, microbial safety, toxicity and allergies. The nutritious elements found in insects, such as the protein or fat contents, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals are known to have numerous health benefits for both humans and animals, so science-based evidence is of the utmost importance for the sustainable advancement of the insect production sector.
The aim of this Research Topic is to cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in the use of insects as food and feed. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• Rearing procedures
• Nutritional values
• Chemical compositions
• Microbial determinations
• Product processing
• Consumers acceptance
• Innovative applications
Keywords: edible insects, protein, environment, entomophagy, alternative
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