Washington: Most people would prefer never to come across a cockroach, especially in a restaurant, but according to scientists the insect’s secretions could soon be making an appearance on menus everywhere.
This is because cockroach milk, or post-natal fluid, is being hailed as the latest foody fad for non-dairy drinkers.
According to researchers from the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India, the milk, which is secreted from the critters in the form of crystals to nourish its hatchlings, could be enjoyed by humans too.
Published in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography, scientists revealed that the milk of the Pacific beetle cockroach – otherwise known as Diploptera punctata – boasts many nutritional benefits.
“The crystals are like a complete food – they have proteins, fats and sugars,” Sanchari Banerjee, one of the main researchers, told the Times of India.
“If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids.”
In fact, the study authors stated that a single crystal of the milk “is estimated to contain more than three times the energy of an equivalent mass of dairy milk.”
It may be a while before people can pick up cockroach milk supplements at the store. Researchers have not yet determined whether the crystals are toxic to humans
The team now plans to use a yeast system to produce more crystals to possibly be used as protein supplements in the future.