Patent Could Pave Way for Geared Up Insect-based Food Ingredients Output

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All Things Bugs LLC has received a US patent (No. 11,337,451, issued on May 24) for its insect-based protein production method, as it continues to develop products and further research in the use of insects as sustainable food ingredients. The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA-headquartered company also has similar issued patents in Canada and Mexico.

Founder and President Dr. Aaron T. Dossey is pictured above using his patented spray drying process to manufacture Griopro cricket powder. For the last decade his team has focused on products, ingredients and service development, and engaged in research to further promote insects as a viable alternative to traditional protein sources such as meat and dairy. Cutting-edge insect farming automation, insect genomics and genetic engineering have been an important part of the ongoing research.

All Things Bugs’ patented breakthrough involves the development of a new wet-grinding and drying technique that ensures edible insects can be ground into a fine powder. It is a process that works equally well with all insects including superworms, crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, locusts, katydids, caterpillars and flies.

Crucially, it is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way to increase protein content across a whole range of foods. The end product is a super fine, light-colored powder with a neutral aroma and flavor that can be blended with other ingredients to make numerous food and beverage products including pasta, baked goods, shakes, smoothies, meat alternatives, tortillas and much more.

Growing Need for Sustainable Sources of Protein

Global food production has long relied on meat and dairy products as its main source of protein. This has had an impact on the environment, with costly resources required to sustain it. Huge amounts of land are cleared every year for farming and agriculture, with water and feed production for cows, pigs, chickens and even most plant-based proteins requiring high volumes of water as well as significant energy consumption.

By comparison, insects make up the largest most diverse group of organisms on the planet. They are nature’s most sustainable protein source, yet relatively little has been done to utilize insects for human consumption.

All Things Bugs takes a holistic view of the benefits insects can bring to mankind. As well as food production, the company is using genetic engineering technologies such as CRISPR to develop insects as a vehicle to manufacture non-food bioproducts for livestock and wild animal vaccines, antibiotics, biomaterials, enzymes and other applications.

“This patent represents a historic opportunity for a shift in mindset towards an overall healthier planet,” said Dossey. “It proves the potential for turning insects into high quality ingredients efficiently and cost effectively. But, more than that, it is an ethical and sustainable solution to the ongoing challenge of scaling up food production without damaging life on earth in the process.”

The All Things Bugs founder has published the first text book on the subject, entitled Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients.