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Nutr Rev. 2017 Dec 1;75(12):1035-1045. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nux057.

Consideration of insects as a source of dietary protein for human consumption.

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Department of Human Biology & Movement Sciences, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Laboratory of Entomology, Plant Sciences Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Consumption of sufficient dietary protein is fundamental to muscle mass maintenance and overall health. Conventional animal-based protein sources such as meat (ie, beef, pork, lamb), poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy are generally considered high-quality sources of dietary protein because they meet all of the indispensable amino-acid requirements for humans and are highly digestible. However, the production of sufficient amounts of conventional animal-based protein to meet future global food demands represents a challenge. Edible insects have recently been proposed as an alternative source of dietary protein that may be produced on a more viable and sustainable commercial scale and, as such, may contribute to ensuring global food security. This review evaluates the protein content, amino-acid composition, and digestibility of edible insects and considers their proposed quality and potential as an alternative protein source for human consumption.


amino-acid content; dietary protein; edible insects; protein digestibility

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