It’s more than four times as nutritious as cow’s milk and, the researchers think it could be the key to feeding our growing population in the future.
Try not to gag at the thought of it, but the next superfood may well be cockroach milk. Forget kale, quinoa, cacoa, acai berries, chia seeds and coconut oil, because roaches could be the secret ingredient coming to the hippest cafes soon.
According to a group of scientists based in India, cockroach milk is four times as nutritious as cow’s milk and has a unique form of protein contained in it. The milk is produced by the Pacific beetle cockroach, the only type of the species that gives birth to live young.
The cockroach secretes a type of milk that contains protein crystals to feed its embryos before they are born.
Disgusting or delicious? The milk is produced by the Pacific beetle cockroach, and contains a specific type of protein crystal
‘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,’
author of the study, Sanchari Banerjee, told Times of India
The protein also has other benefits, like the fact that it releases energy slowly over a long period of time. ‘It’s time-released food. If you need food that is calorifically high, that is time released and food that is complete. This is it,’
another scientist, Professor Ramaswamy explained.
Scientists who made the discovery were working at the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and believe the milk could be used as a protein supplement in the future.
Previous studies have shown that consuming bugs like cockroaches gives you more protein than eating red meat
However, rather than trying to milk cockroaches, which would prove very ineffective, the researchers are trying to find a way to produce the protein crystals in their lab.
The findings of the scientists can be read in full in the International Union of Crystallography Journal, but it’s fairly technical.
It’s not the first
time scientists have advocated for consuming bugs either. Last year a study from Oxford University found that consuming insects like cockroaches gave you more protein than equivalent amounts of red meat.