FNU: How easy is it to find a reliable, consistent supply of cricket flour?
LA: Right now I think the demand may be catching up to the supply. There are about three suppliers of food grade cricket flour in the US and many overseas. However, I have not had any issues obtaining cricket flour for my projects.
FNU: What is the stuff actually like to work with? Does it have a strong flavor?
LA: The flavor and texture are different from what you would expect from a whey or soy protein powder. The flavor is very barn-like and some have compared it to an autolyzed yeast extract. Also it can be drying on the tongue. The texture is grainy similar to that of some gluten free baked goods. I have used Wixon flavor masking technologies so that the finished product has a more pleasant flavor and texture.
FNU: What about the price? Is the flour too expensive right now to make a finished product that’s affordable?
LA: Cricket flour is more expensive per pound than traditional protein sources like whey, soy or pea; however the advantage is that cricket flour is about 67% protein per 100 grams. This lets you formulate with a smaller amount that will drive the price down and make it more cost effective while still achieving the required level of protein.
FNU: How might you use cricket flour in a recipe?
LA: It can be used alone as well as in combination with other flours. I have been using it in a snack bar on its own to increase protein.
FNU:How much can/should you use in a recipe? And what factors influence this? Price, taste, texture, protein content, performance?
LA: Usage would depend on how much protein is required for the recipe; this will also drive the cost. It also depends on other ingredients you are using, meaning there are a lot of variables and possibilities. The product is versatile and can be used in a variety of things.
FNU: Is this a gimmick/novelty or is this something that has (excuse the pun) legs?
LA: It has legs. I believe that with the increasing cost of other animal protein sources we will see an increase in products made using insects in the US.