Use of nutrient rich insect base to create pasta and rice mimicking food products

Period of Performance: 07/13/2016 - 12/31/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

151 N. 8TH ST. #500 Array
Lincoln, NE 68508
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


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.