Insects have been described as a “super protein” and rightfully so, they are very high in protein, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and trace mineral. Our blend of crickets and black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) proteins is a completion protein source rich in minerals and vitamins such as: iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium, biotin and pantothenic. It actually contains:
- more Iron than spinach,
- more calcium than milk,
- double the protein of beef,
- more B12 than Salmon or Beef, and
- 9x more omega’s than wild salmon.
The nutritional analysis of both cricket meal and BSFL meal can be seen in the below table:
Nutritional Analysis of Cricket and Black Soldier Fly Larvae Meal
Not only is this form of protein high in nutrients, these are also more bioavailable.
This means that not only are cricket and BSFL proteins more nutritious but a recently accepted study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that these nutrients are more soluble and have better uptake than from beef or wheat.
Crickets and BSFL Meal are both whole food, that is they contain the whole insect. This is why our protein blend has such and amazing nutritional profile. Most other products contain only extracted, and isolated proteins that are just a small fraction of the original food. Even steak for example, is only muscle which is just a fraction of the entire animal.
This also means that no parts are wasted. For comparison 40% of cattle original slaughter weight is used as meat. Whereas 100% of a cricket or BSFL is ground up and dried, leaving over 80% of it’s original weight to be used as food.
Our blend of crickets and BSFL is a completion protein source. This means that it contains all the essential amino acids. It also contain all essential fatty acids, including; omega-3 and omega-6. To understand what makes this a good source of protein we first need to know what these compounds are and why they are important:
- Proteins: “are organic compounds consisting of amino acids. They are important elements of food nutrition but also contribute to its physical and sensory properties” (Edible Insects, 2013).
- Amino acids: “are the building blocks required for the biosynthesis of all proteins through metabolism to ensure proper growth, development and maintenance.” (Edible Insects, 2013).
- Essential amino acids: “are indispensable because they cannot be synthesize and so must be obtain through food. Eight amino acids are classified as essential: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine and lysine.” (Edible Insects, 2013).
- Essential fatty acids: “These cannot be synthesized, which means that they must be obtained from the diet. They include some omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. α-linolenic acid) and some omega-6 fatty acids (e.g. linoleic acid).” (Edible Insects, 2013).
The nutritive value of protein depends on several factors:
- protein content, which varies widely among all foods;
- protein quality, which depends on the kind of amino acids present (essential or non- essential); and
- protein digestibility, which refers to the digestibility of the amino acids present in the food.
Insects vary dramatically in their protein composition. The most commonly farmed insects have been specifically selected due to the high quality of their protein compositions. Northern Hound uses two insect proteins in its dog food recipes, these are; black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) and crickets. Both these insects have a protein content around 55-60% when in a meal form. This is a high-quality protein that contains all essential amino acids, all essential fatty acids and is highly digestible. The Amino Acid and Fatty Acid Profile of BSFL Meal & Cricket Meal can be seen in the below table:
Amino Acid and Fatty Acid Profile of BSFL Meal & Cricket Meal