Cockroach oil gets thumbs down for cookery [new study]

If you’re thinking of supplementing or replacing your plant-based cooking oils with oils made from insects, maybe steer away from Blaptica dubia – the Dubia Cockroach. Stick to mealworms or house crickets instead. That’s the take-home message from a new paper in-press at the Journal of Insects as Food and Feed which details recent progress in evaluating insect-based cooking oils. The research team, from Wageningen University in The Netherlands investigated the potential of yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), lesser mealworms (Alphitobius diaperinus), house crickets (Acheta domesticus) and Dubia cockroaches (Blaptica dubia).

“This study aims to contribute to the knowledge of insect oils that were extracted from insects commercially reared in Europe. Oil was extracted from yellow mealworm, lesser mealworm, house cricket and Dubia cockroach by an aqueous based oil extraction method.

[…]

The extracted insect oil presented a wide range of melting peaks, from -30.7 to 22.7 °C, which makes them liquid-like at room temperature. Its thermal profile shows separated peaks showing that fat fractionation is feasible. Oil colour was bright yellow-reddish. Most oils had compounds related to pleasant aromas, except for Dubia cockroach. In the latter oil several acid compounds related to unpleasant aromas were identified. This study shows that yellow meal worm oil, lesser mealworm oil and cricket oil have characteristics desirable for table oils and for oils use as food ingredients.”

See: Four insect oils as food ingredient: physical and chemical characterisation of insect oils obtained by an aqueous oil extraction

Note: Dubia means “of doubtful origin”, and should not be confused with Dubya or Dubai.

Research research by Martin Gardiner

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