Fringe Box



University’s Study To See if Eating Insects Is a Viable Alternative for Protein in Diets

Published on: 27 Apr, 2024
Updated on: 28 Apr, 2024

Could insects be a viable alternative source of protein in our diets? Researchers from the University of Surrey need people’s help to get to the bottom of this much-debated question.

The university says participants are required to help determine if protein derived from insects fulfils our dietary requirement of the macronutrient and their digestibility.

Led by Dr Ralph Manders, the university team is seeking 38 participants, aged between 45 to 55 and over 65, to help identify sustainable sources of dietary protein that are more environmentally friendly than traditional farming practices, which can result in deforestation due to the need for more land for animal grazing and greenhouse gas emissions from their waste.

Dr Manders, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of Surrey, said: “The majority of dietary protein comes from animal products such as meat and eggs, but such farming practices are simply not sustainable.

“We need to get our protein intake from elsewhere as the macronutrient is vital to our overall health and key for muscle and bone repair, as well as being responsible for making hormones and enzymes.

“Eating insects is nothing new in large parts of the world, but it is gaining more interest in western countries due to increased environmental and animal welfare awareness. We want to find out how much protein they contain and if our bodies can digest it quickly, making it a viable alternative to animal products.”

To do this, participants will be invited to consume either a milk-based muffin or one made from cricket flour.

Blood samples will be taken before consumption and up to four hours after, where the team will examine hormone levels and lipid profiles within the sample.

A stable carbon isotope tracer baked into the muffin will help researchers identify how long the body takes to digest the muffin made of cricket flour. This can be determined by how much carbon is found in breath samples provided by participants.

To take part in this study, email Dr Ralph Manders at

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *