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Australia releases roadmap for developing edible insect industry

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Australia’s national science agency has released a roadmap to develop an edible insect industry.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), on Thursday launched its plan for the `strategic growth’ of the emerging edible insect industry.

“Insects have high-value nutritional profiles, and are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, folic acid and vitamins B12, C and E.

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“They are also complementary to our existing diets because they are a healthy, environmentally friendly, and a rich source of alternative proteins.”

“The worldwide edible insect market is expected to reach 1.4 billion Australian dollars (1.1 billion U.S. dollars) in value by 2023.

“Europe and the United States of America lead the western world market, with more than 400 edible-insect-related businesses in operation,’’ Rocio Ponce Reyes, a co-author of the report from the CSIRO, said in a  statement.

According to the report, more than 2,100 insect species are currently eaten by 2 billion people from about 130 countries and regions, including 60 native species eaten by indigenous Australians.

It lays out a framework for how indigenous peoples, insect business, researchers and policy makers can collaborate to build the Australian industry and identifies challenges such as consumer appetite and scalability.

“The roadmap draws on the expertise of Australian and international scientists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, insect farmers, food processing industry leaders and chefs, to set out the challenges and opportunities presented by one of the world’s richest sources of protein and other micronutrients,’’ CSIRO entomologist Bryan Lessard said.

“Australia has a high diversity of native insects. Working with First Nations enterprises, many species have the potential to be sustainably harvested or grown in low impact farms, to be turned into new and delicious Australian foods for us and our pets.’’

(Xinhua/NAN)

David Abakpa

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