Patented process could cut costs of insect-based ingredients

OKLAHOMA CITY – Aaron T. Dossey, PhD, President, Founder and Owner of All Things Bugs, LLC, has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that relates to the manufacture of insect food products. a more cost effective way and results in a higher quality product, according to the patent.

U.S. Patent No. 11,337,451 issued May 24 involves methods of producing insect products which include wet grinding at least one whole insect in an insect mash and drying the insect mash to forming a dried insect product comprising solid insect materials. Whole insects can be superworms, crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, locusts, grasshoppers, caterpillars or flies.

This method has advantages over current methods of preparing insects for food, which include roasting whole insects and grinding them into powder or flour. Current methods cost more and can destroy nutrients and reduce shelf life, according to the patent.

It takes more heat, energy and effort to dry whole insects than to grind them open, Dr. Dossey said. Since the suspension is homogeneous, the particles contain approximately the same chemical/nutritional composition, he added. Protein micro-encapsulates oils and other nutrients, protecting them for longer shelf life.

The patent cites the United Nations expecting the world’s population to reach over 9 billion by 2050. Turning insects into ingredients for human food could help feed this population. Compared to vertebrate livestock, insects have advantages such as high feed conversion rate, higher reproductive rates, less land use, lower energy consumption, less water use and lower levels of greenhouse gas production, according to Dr. Dossey’s patent and book “Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients.”

All Things Bugs LLC, based in Oklahoma City, offers Griopro cricket powder.