Milk from a
species of lactating cockroach could be the best superfood of the future,
claims a new study. Most of the cockroaches lay eggs. But the Pacific beetle
cockroach also known as Diploptera punctate
is the only species of cockroach
known to be viviparous (gives birth to young ones that have developed within
the body). These cockroaches are found along Asia's Pacific rim.
‘The Pacific beetle cockroach provides a milky substance to its embryo which is rich in protein, fats and sugars. The milk crystals could be used as a health supplement in the future.’
beetle cockroach provides nutrition to its growing embryos with a protein-rich
liquid secreted by its brood sac. The embryos digest the liquid substance which
is rich in protein, fats, and sugars. In the embryo's midgut, the milk proteins
turn to hard crystals.
team of researchers from India, Japan, France, Canada and the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) in America extracted the milk crystals from the
embryo's midgut. The researchers analyzed the milk crystals to estimate its
nutritional composition. The analysis showed that a single cockroach milk
crystals contain more than three times the energy of an equivalent amount of
buffalo's milk, which was previously claimed to be the best source of protein.
contains essential amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. The
milk release mechanism allows the crystal to release protein at the same rate
the body consumes it. The high-protein and calorie rich content of the
cockroach milk makes it an ideal supplement for athletes. The researchers also
noted that the milk protein crystals could be added to milkshakes.
The milk protein
crystals could be an easy way to get calories and nutrients for those who
struggle to get the required
amount of daily calories
. The researchers hope that this discovery
could alleviate food shortages of this generation.
Banerjee, one of the authors of the study, said, "The crystals are like a
complete food—they have proteins, fats, and sugars. If you look into the
protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids. If you need food
that is calorically high, that is time released and food that is complete. This
cockroach is not feasible, so, the researchers have decided to sequence the
genes responsible for producing the milk protein crystals and replicate them in
researchers are yet to determine whether the milk protein crystals are
toxin-free and safe for human consumption. But they hope it will be safe for
consumption after adjusting to the idea of eating crickets and other creepy
Ramaswamy, a biochemist at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative
Medicine in Bangalore, said, "If the cockroach milk were ever to hit the
mainstream, it would likely come from the yeast, which is already being
bioengineered to produce things like synthetic sweeteners."
The research is
published recently in the journal International Union of
- Cockroach Milk Might Be The Hot New Superfood, According To Science - http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/cockroach-milk-superfood_us_57976ba9e4b02d5d5ed2d8e9)