Insects, particularly those belonging to the family Acrididae (grasshoppers), are commonly consumed as human food in many parts of the world. Grasshoppers of the species Chorthippus parallelus are abundantly found throughout Europe. However, these insects were not consumed by Europeans till now, but could possibly be used as human food, which is why we investigated their chemical composition. We found that they contain high level of proteins (69%), with an excellent amino acid profile and protein digestibility (97%). Furthermore, specimens of C. parallelus have an interesting fatty acids profile and minerals composition. Preliminary toxicity assessment indicates that these insects do not exhibit toxicity towards neutrophil cells (white blood cells). These data suggest that C. parallelus could be considered for human consumption. Rearing trials done during the study show that commercial rearing could be developed to produce sufficient biomass for sustaining human consumption.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.