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Abstract

As the global population continues to grow, traditional protein sources like meat and fish are becoming increasingly unsustainable due to their environmental impact. Edible insects, on the other hand, are highly nutritious, require minimal resources to produce, and emit significantly fewer greenhouse gases than traditional livestock. Lepidoptera, one of the most diverse insect orders, contains some popular edible species that have been consumed traditionally for centuries across the globe. Based on this review, about 24 families with a total of about 350 edible lepidopteran species were recorded. They are often praised for their excellent nutritional value, such as having high protein and healthy fat content. Edible lepidopterans also contain minerals, essential amino acids, and vitamins, making them a nutritious addition to a balanced diet. They also contain bioactive compounds which have various nutraceutical and pharmaceutical properties. Furthermore, some edible lepidopterans can be farmed and require minimal space and resources. However, there are significant challenges associated with their use as food. One of the primary challenges is the lack of regulations governing their production and distribution, which creates uncertainty for consumers and businesses alike. Consumer acceptance is also a significant barrier to the widespread adoption of insects as food. To overcome these challenges, there is a need for clear regulations that ensure the safety and quality of insect-based products. Furthermore, it is important to raise awareness about the nutritional and environmental benefits of edible insects as sustainable food for the future to promote their acceptance among consumers.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

The rapid growth of the human population leads to a big concern about the food y and demand worldwide. However, due to the reduction in global arable land area, humans need to find alternative food sources to fulfil their needs. Consequently, edible insects have been identified as a promising solution to ameliorate food security and increase global nutrition. Among more than 2,100 identified edible insect species, dragonflies and damselflies (order Odonata) are considered as one of nutritious food resources. Nevertheless, detailed information on the frequency and distribution of consumption of odonatans around the world is scattered and poorly documented. Based on this review, at least 61 out of 1,964 species of odonatans were reported consumed by people worldwide. The most consumed dragonflies (suborder Epiprocta; infraorder Anisoptera) are from the family of Libellulidae, followed by Aeshnidae and Gomphidae, whereas the most consumed edible damselflies (suborder Zygoptera) are from the Coenagrionidae family. Many nutrients, including proteins, lipids, energy, fibre, vitamins, and minerals are abundant in edible odonatans. Moreover, studies reported that humans employed these insects as therapeutic agents to remedy various ailments. Challenges associated with the consumption of edible odonatans include safety concerns, legal frameworks, and limited information on their bioecology which become barrier for their successful mass-rearing. However, because entomophagy is gradually gaining recognition, new and more improved methods of rearing are now being developed including for edible odonatans, encouraging sustainable insect farming. As the world strives to achieve the sustainable development goals, insect farming will pave a way for resources to be utilised for sustainable economic development.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed