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Acta Portuguesa de Nutrição

versão On-line ISSN 2183-5985


GONCALVES, Cristina; CHAVEZ, Karla  e  JORGE, Rui. ENTOMOPHAGY - ACTUAL CONSUMPTION AND FUTURE POTENTIAL. Acta Port Nutr [online]. 2022, n.29, pp.76-81.  Epub 14-Dez-2022. ISSN 2183-5985.

The consumption of insects by humans dates back to the hunter-gatherer phase of the Homo sapiens and even today it is part of the diet of several communities, not only when there is a shortage of other foods, but also because its flavour is appreciated. In Europe, the consumption of insects decreased its frequency as the availability of other types of food became available at any time of the year. The most consumed insects worldwide are those of the orders Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera, Odonata, Diptera, Dictyoptera and Megaloptera. The nutritional value of insects for humans is acknowledged, recently, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations published a table with the nutritional composition of 471 edible insects. Insects are rich in protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. Insects’ consumption in the West, in countries where it is no longer a common practice, is conditioned by the negative perception of these animals and because it is something seen as new in terms of food. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the introduction of insects in the diet as a way to face the continuous increase of the world population and the consequent need to increase food production, but also for environmental reasons. In Portugal, the interest in the production of insects for human consumption faced barriers in the European Union legislation, but the commercialization of 6 species of insects is currently authorized.

Palavras-chave : Entomophagy; Edible insects.

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