800 PST STE 300
Non Technical Summary
The global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050 with food demand to increase by 70% during that time (van Huis, A. et. al, 2015 and Shockley, 2014). Nearly 200 million children worldwide suffer from malnutrition with the World Health Organization estimating that 54% of child mortality is the result of malnutrition (Shockley, 2014). With land and water use already stressed with food production (70% of all agricultural land and 30% of total land is used to raise livestock), along with the measured effect of animal production on greenhouse gas emissions and ammonia waste, another viable, sustainable, and scalable source of nutrient rich food must be explored to meet the rising food demand and address the current global rates of malnutrition (Shockley, 2014). Bugeater Labs wants to introduce a protein source that is more sustainable than today's top national protein sources with insect protein. While utilizing insects for food is not a new concept, one of the main challenges to brodar use of insects as a major human food source throughout the world, especially in the United States and Europe, is meeting the challenge of "how to turn insects into safe, healthy, and tasty food products. (Shockley, 2014)." Creating widespread acceptance, innovation in products, and ensuring high value nutrients, are essential to meeting the growing food demand over the next 35 years. The main methods for this project will be trial and error. Bugeater Labs will be running extrusion trials (production trials) of insect rice and pasta with insect. Each product created will be tasted, cooked, and have nutritional analysis ran on them to find the best overall product for consumers. Once 2-3 options are decided a sensory evaluation will be done to see any consumer suggestions and to find the best product. We will conduct economic feasibility research through out the process to asure this product is cost effective for both the company and consumers. In the end it is expected to have created a product that is acceptable for most consumers and have increased nutrition content over non-insect fortified competitors. Bugeater Labs' goal is to increase consumption of insect-based products in an effort to meet the growing population's food demands on limited resources while growing the insect industry to drive down costs and speed adoption. The innovation in our project is creating insect products that mimic traditional staple foods and provide high-value nutrients for widespread adoption in the market. By incorporating insects into traditional staple foods, we believe will see acceptance grow faster and allow for the development of more insect based food products. This will create a new protein source that can address some food security issues and lessen the environmental impact of other sources.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
Our first goal is to find the insect the works best in our products.Technical Objective 1: Narrow down to 4 input insects for trials and analysis.Cooking trials- some insect proteins and nutrients might completely denature when cooking.Nutrient profile- each insect will have and give a different flavor, nutrient benefit, and nutritional basis.Small-scale batch extrusion trials - some insect powders may not run through an extruderOur second goal would be make a viable food product.Technical Objective 2: Create for trial two different traditional-mimicking food items from insect types deemed responsive in Objective 1.Run extruding trials for pasta and ricePeform small quality tests like moisture and water activityPeform Cooking trialsPerfom tasting trialsOur third goal will depend on the outcomes of our first two goals. Through our extrusion trials we hope to find the best overall product for consumers.Technical Objective 3: Complete additional nutrient, taste, texture analysis on the narrowed down developed food items.UNL and Medallion Labs will be completing all the nutritional analysis, sensory analysis and any other analysis.Our last goal is to make this economic feasable.Technical Objective 4: Explore economic feasibility.Bugeater Labs will explore the input and processing costs of the approved formulas. During this time, to determine costs, the PI will be in contact with possible packaging and co-packing companies. This may be difficult as some processors may not be interested in processing insect powder on the same equipment as other products. This will pave the way for Phase III commercialization. By the end of Phase I, we will have two viable formulas for further testing and development to be completed in Phase II and be ready to introduce into the market by Phase III.
Technical Objective 1: Narrow down to 4 input insects for trials and analysis.Research insect sources and nutritional profilesEach insect has a unique make up of proteins, nutrients, carbohydrates, and flavors. These will affect the processing, flavor, nutritional profile, and other pasta or rice characteristics. By researching each suggested insect (based on research already done on insect nutritional profiles as well as availability, texture, taste), the research team will determine four insects to be used for the next objective. The team will then conduct preliminary cooking trials of the insect base, nutrient profile analysis, small batch extrusions if possible.In determining the best insects to use for the cooking trials, Bugeater Labs, along with the UNL's Product Development Lab will research the following as it relates to each insect:Cooking trials- some insect proteins and nutrients might completely denature when cooking.Nutrient profile- each insect will have and give a different flavor, nutrient benefit, and nutritional basis.Small-scale batch extrusion trials - some insect powders may not run through an extruder.Timeframe for this objective will be from June 2016-August 2016 with the milestone being viable insect input for additional trials.Medallion Labs will be running a full nutritional analysis on the choice of insects to see what nutritional value is available. They will also be running a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) on cricket, mealworm, and other desired insect. This will show data on absorption rates of insects with the body.Technical Objective 2: Create for trial two different traditional-mimicking food items from insect types deemed responsive in Objective 1.Bugeater Labs, PI, Julianne Kopf, will develop multiple formulations based on the research completed in the first objective tasks. At each point in the research, Ms. Kopf will evaluate each formulation and adjust as needed, having the research team from UNL repeat steps/trials to narrow down the formulations at each objective milestone point.Extrude pasta, rice or noodlesBugeater Labs will complete extrusion trials at UNL's Pilot Plant. Different formulation, moisture levels, pressure levels, and cutting levels will be explored to get the best combination. Approximately, 5-20 different trials will be run depending on the research of the insect source. Also different types of pasta shapes can be explored to see what the best option per insect source is, with rice and pasta both tested. Rice will be extruded on a single screw extruder, and pasta will be extruded on a pasta extruder. Both types of products will undergo a drying process.Parameters to be measured on the extruders:Moisture levelPressure levelScrew speedBlade speed or cutting speedShape of the productSize of the productFormulation changes that may be made:Types of insect powderLevels of insect powderLevels of other ingredients - salt, gums, butter or flourMoisture AnalysisAfter the extrusion process, moisture analysis water activity will be completed by the PI in the pilot plant. These products need to have certain moisture contents for standard of identity as well as for safety. This will be performed at the University of Nebraska. The PI will be using the Ohaus Moisture Analyzer and Aqua Lab Water Activity Reader. Certain levels of water activity will give rise to mold or other bacteria. The target water activity is .8 or below, anything higher than .87 will lead to mold and bacteria. The optimal target for pasta or rice product would be between 9-14% moisture. Target water activity - .8 or below Target moisture content - 9%-14%Cooking TrialsCooking trials will be completed by Bugeater Labs at the University of Nebraska's Product Development Lab. These trials explore how the pasta or rice cooks. The stability of the product and what times and temperatures of cooking will be tested and verified. This will be completed with rice cookers or stove, pot, and lid.VariablesCook timeTemperatureDifferent ways of cookingDifferent types of cooking utensilsTasting TrialsAfter cooking, the product will be tasted. The many factors that affect a person's response to the taste (sensory, appearance, aftertaste, etc) will all be analyzed for success in mimicking the intended staple food. Taste will drive adoption and sales. Multiple formulas will be used and products/formulas that do not pass the taste test will be eliminated. Each formulation will be tasted. This will be an informal tasting with the UNL staff or other willing participants available at time of tasting.Tasting CharacteristicsAppearanceOverall tasteAftertasteOff flavorsOdd notesTextureChewing abilityHardnessSmellMultiple formulas will be tested, evaluated, reworked and retested during this phase. It is expected to be complete by the end of September 2016.Technical Objective 3: Complete additional nutrient, taste, texture analysis on the narrowed down developed food items.Nutritional analysisNutritional analysis will be completed on each formulation to evaluate multiple nutrients and their levels. This will be completed and compared to determine which formulation, as deemed viable so far, to utilize as well as to provide nutrient analysis for the future research and sale. This will be completed at the University of Nebraska Food Processing Center. The test and nutrient identified is listed below.Protein - Dumas Combustion Method. This will show a nitrogen level, which will be converted to protein content.Iron- Atomic AbsorptionZinc- Gas ChromatographyFatty Acid Analysis- FAMEs% Fat- Soctlex Hexane Extraction% Carbs- subtraction% Moisture- Gravimetric Method% Ash- Gravimetric MethodMedallion Labs will also be doing analytical work on the end product to calculate the vitamin and minerals.Allergenicity testingThis will be completed at the UNL Food Allergy Resource Program (FARP Lab) on the end product to verify safety. This will test the protein similarity to crustacean or any other big eight allergies that will affect labeling. Current research indicates the cricket protein is very similar to crustacean's allegoric protein and needs to be labeled crustacean allergy.Sensory StudyA sensory test will be completed to explore the preferred formulation. This will be completed at UNL's Sensory Lab. The tests may include the 9-Point Hedonic, JAR Line Test, the preference test, or what the UNL scientist sensory suggests. The Hedonic Test has a 9-Point Scale from which to judge different aspects of the food item. This helps rate testing acceptance. The JAR Line Test measures a line with two extremes at each end and the middle as just about right (JAR). The preference test shows the participant's preferred sample. The Hedonic shows data on individual characteristics. These tests provide data on the sensory characteristics of the product to present (to consumers), make the product better, and to help determine which formulation is the best.9-Point Hedonic ScaleLike ExtremelyLike Very MuchLike ModeratelyLike SlightlyNeither Like nor DislikeDislike SlightlyDislike ModeratelyDislike Very MuchDislike ExtremelyThese tasks will be completed by the end of December 2016.Technical Objective 4: Explore economic feasibility.Economic AnalysisBugeater Labs will explore the input and processing costs of the approved formulas. During this time, to determine costs, the PI will be in contact with possible packaging and co-packing companies. This may be difficult as some processors may not be interested in processing insect powder on the same equipment as other products. This will pave the way for Phase III commercialization.