Nutritional Qualities and Enhancement of Edible Insects

Arnold Van Huis*, Birgit Rumpold*, Cassandra Maya*, Nanna Roos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last decade, the urgency to find alternative and sustainable protein sources has prompted an exponential increase in the interest in insects as a human food source. Edible insects contribute suitable amounts of energy and protein, fatty acids, and micronutrients to the human diet. Nutritional values of insects can be manipulated to meet specific needs. Edible insects in food-insecure countries can contribute to improving diets and preventing undernutrition. Bioactive compounds in insects may reduce health risks. Food safety risks are low and mainly relate to those of allergenicity. Strategies to overcome barriers to the consumption of insect products include emphasizing their sustainability, increasing their tastiness, and developing the ability to disguise insects in familiar products. A new sector of insects as food and feed is emerging. Major challenges include legislation, lowering prices by automation and cheap substrates, developing insect products that appeal to consumers, and exploring the health benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-576
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual review of nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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