Future Farming - Cockroach milk? Really?


With many consumers looking for healthier foods in 2018 and alternatives to dairy milk, Scientists think they have now found the latest superfood to quench the thirst of the world, as reported in iflscience.com.

The food is none other than cockroach milk and it has been lauded as a potential superfood substitute for milk. Recent studies on milk produced by a specific species of the insect have found it to be amongst the most nutritious substance on the planet!

The insect in question is the Pacific beetle cockroach, found on Pacific islands such as Hawaii. Unlike other cockroach species, this one gives birth to its offspring rather than laying eggs as is the norm. These cockroach babies are the recipients of highly nutritious vitamins, carbohydrates and amino acids through protein-rich crystals found in their mother’s milk (See video above).

A study was carried out in 2016, published in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography, found the milk to be more than four times richer in nutrients than the next best milk, buffalo milk. Scientists also found that the milk enables offspring to develop at very high speeds, meaning it is a real superfood.

“The crystals are like a complete food – they have proteins, fats and sugars… If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids.” said one of the study’s main authors, Sanchari Banerjee.

The milk is lactose-free and is yellow in colour, though it is not said to have much of a taste.

How it’s made:
The process is not an easy one. It is very labour-intensive and only the perfect aged insects can be used.

They begin lactating at 40days, which is when scientists either kill the roach to extract its midgut and in turn the milk or substitute a filter paper for the embryos in the brood sac and leave it to collect the milk.

Studies have yet to be completed to determine how safe or potentially unsafe cockroach milk is for humans and scientists are aiming to produce a yeast which can produce milk in a similar way to the cockroaches.

In 2018 when the world is now health-obsessed, could cockroach milk be the latest fad to hit the gyms?

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