Belgian researchers from Ghent University have discovered that fat made from the black fly larvae is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option than its dairy version.
In order to achieve the bugger – sorry, butter, researchers soaked the Black soldier fly larvae in water. Afterward, they put it through the blender and created a smooth dollop, and separated it with the help of a kitchen centrifuge.
Of course, they needed to taste-test it, and they did that by making three identical versions of cakes, cookies, and waffles. Each group had one item that was made with regular butter, another with 25% larvae fat, and the final food was made with half butter and half larvae fat.
The blind test results showed that a group of 344 people didn’t mind the switch at all. The statements say, “The cake with a quarter of insect fat passed the test: the taste panel did not notice that insect fat was used. In the case of waffles, they did not even notice the presence of insect fat when half of the butter had been replaced. Also, the texture and color were hardly affected as compared with butter.”
While the thought of eating insects might be torturous to some, it is actually better for the environment. According to the researcher Daylan Tzompa-Sosa, “the ecological footprint of an insect is much smaller compared to animal-based food sources”.
Moreover, insects can be grown in large numbers in Europe, thus, decreasing the transportation footprint.
Tzompa-Sosa adds, “Insect fat contains lauric acid, which provides positive nutritional attributes since it is more digestible than butter. Moreover, lauric acid has an antibacterial, antimicrobial and antimycotic effect. This means that it is able, for example, to eliminate harmless various viruses, bacteria or even fungi in the body, allowing it to have a positive effect on health."
The research was published in the journal Food Quality and Preference.