Consideration of insects as a source of dietary protein for human consumption

T.A. Churchward-Venne, P.J.M. Pinckaers, J.J.A. van Loon, L.J.C. van Loon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Consumption of sufficient dietary protein is fundamental to muscle mass maintenance and overall health. Conventional animal-based protein sources such as meat (ie, beef, pork, lamb), poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy are generally considered high-quality sources of dietary protein because they meet all of the indispensable amino-acid requirements for humans and are highly digestible. However, the production of sufficient amounts of conventional animal-based protein to meet future global food demands represents a challenge. Edible insects have recently been proposed as an alternative source of dietary protein that may be produced on a more viable and sustainable commercial scale and, as such, may contribute to ensuring global food security. This review evaluates the protein content, amino-acid composition, and digestibility of edible insects and considers their proposed quality and potential as an alternative protein source for human consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1045
JournalNutrition Reviews
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • 017-4053


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