Climate-friendly bugotto under development
In a new project, researchers from Aarhus University are contributing to the development of a climate-friendly risotto based on insect flour - a so-called bugotto - aimed at Danish consumers.
Food products of the future need to be produced using fewer resources to support the sustainability agendas, in order to support a growing population. With a high protein content and a low climate impact, insects could be part of the solution.
The Danish company BUG AMOK has teamed up with researchers from the Department of Food Science and the Department of Engineering at Aarhus University, among others, to develop an insect meal aimed at pleasing Danish taste buds.
Insects for more Danes
Charlotte Bay Hansen, CEO and food activist in BUG AMOK, thinks that the potential for edible insect products in Denmark is substantial:
- 2 billion people worldwide eat insects daily. Insects are an excellent source of flavour, they are healthy, and they can be produced sustainably. Therefore, I believe that we should embrace insects here in Denmark as well. We already have to-go and snack products based on insect flour, but I would like to make it be easier to eat in a climate-friendly way. Therefore, I am now working with Aarhus University.
- Read more: How healthy and nutritious are insects?
Insects need to taste good
The Department of Food Science contributes to the development of this new food product with consumer research, which – among other things – is in the sensory part of the project. The product should not only be sustainable, healthy, based on Danish produce and have a high protein content, but it should also taste good:
- The basic recipe is in place, but we are continuing to develop the taste by adding different vegetables and spices and by working on the texture. It is a creative process, where we are continuously involving the consumer. We have tested the product in connection to different events, where we have held focus groups, and we will now have to test the product in canteens, says Niki Alexi, post.doc. at the Department of Food Science.
- Europeans are not used to eating insects. Therefore, there can be “neophobia” – a fear of something new or unknown, in connection to eating insects. Generally, the consumers, who have taken part in the product test, have been positive towards the bugotto, so there are possibilities in insect protein.
In connection to the consumer studies, the Department of Food Science contributes with knowledge about packaging and shelf life. This happens in cooperation with the Department of Engineering, who works on measuring the climate impact.
BUG AMOK is considering to continue the work, for instance by developing products for retailers.
About the project:
The project is a cooperation between the Department of Food Science and the Department of Engineering at Aarhus University and the private companies BUG AMOK and InnovaConsult. BUG AMOK is financing the project with support from Future Food Innovation. Future Food Innovation is located at Agro Business Park, and it has the goal of strengthening innovation and assuring an international, competitive Danish food industry. They believe this will be achieved by bringing the companies, knowledge and end users together so that new, innovative products can be developed and commercialized.
CEO Charlotte Bay Hansen
Phone: +45 21959026
Post.doc. Niki Alexi
Department of Food Science -Food Quality Perception & Society