Insect oil is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and could be used in cooking, from salad dressings to the fats in pastry, according to a Mexican scientist working in a Dutch laboratory. Liane Wimhurst has more.
Some might say it's just not cricket. But researchers have found these insects are a great source of Omega-3, when blended and reduced to an oil. Smoothie, anyone? Try not to be creeped out, the insects were already being turned into powder as a source of protein. But reseacher DAYLAN TZOMPA-SOSA at the University of Wageningen in The Netherlands discovered oil was a bi-product of the process. She hopes one day we'll all be putting roach dressing on our salads. SOUNDBITE (English), RESEARCHER, DAYLAN TZOMPA-SOSA, SAYING: "This is an oil already, this is a kind of virgin oil, so I can use now this to make a... I can use now this to make dressing for salad, or I can use this to fry something now." The process is environmentally friendly and the insects feed on organic waste. Our main source of Omega-3 is fish and campaigners say we're in danger of depleting the oceans. (SOUNDBITE) (English), RESEARCHER, DAYLAN TZOMPA-SOSA, SAYING: "Most insects have a pleasant smell or a neutral smell, so that will not be a problem, however there is one, that is the cockroach, that smells very bad, it smells very bad even when you are processing the animal." Mealworms, beetle larvae, crickets, cockroaches and grasshoppers were used in Tzompa-Sosa's experiments. She analyses the fractions and properties of the oil. In the future she will work with bio experts to research the breeding, diet and processing of insects for oil. As populations grow, more scientists may be bugging us to turn to insects for a more sustainable diet.