Insecten als zuiver voedsel: de rol van microfiltratie
Ondernemers sociëteit voedingsindustrie
B2B Communications
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Insects as pure food: the role of microfil­tration

  • 25 September 2023

Imagine this: you take a bite of a delicious sausage roll, only to find out that its main ingredient is insects. The concept might sound odd, but in reality, insects could become a goldmine for the food industry. There's just one challenge - how do we keep them pure?

Insects, like all living beings, carry microorganisms, both on their exterior and within their digestive tracts. For food safety and quality, it's crucial to eliminate these microorganisms. Until now, the standard method was heating. However, heat changes the protein structure of insects, just as frying permanently solidifies an egg.

Luc Sweers, a PhD candidate in food quality and design, sought alternative methods. His goal? Preserving the pristine, unaltered quality of insect proteins. The European food safety authority has only recently recognized insects as safe food, which means that the processing methods are still in their infancy.

Filtering Bacteria

Sweers' solution? Microfiltration. In a recent study, he mixed insects with water, blended them, and then pressed the mixture through an ultra-fine membrane filter. The results were impressive. Only the smallest particles, such as proteins, passed through the filter, leaving bacteria behind.

Interestingly, the acidity level also influenced the process. A more acidic mixture resulted in greater protein hydrolysis, making the proteins smaller and facilitating their passage through the filter.

This groundbreaking method isn't yet ready for industrial application, but Sweers has proven its efficacy. While insect-based products haven't yet found their way to our supermarket shelves, some trade fairs already serve insect snacks. And according to Sweers, they're delightful - he's tried them himself. The future of our food might be more "buggy" than we imagine. But thanks to researchers like Sweers, it'll also be safer and tastier.

Photo: ©artpritsadee/

Source: Resource Online