Scientists Think Cockroach Milk Could Be the Superfood of the Future

(Photo: Geoff L)

Got milk? That's good! It'll keep you strong and healthy. But you probably got it from a cow or a goat. For a new treat, try cockroach milk.

Cockroaches aren't mammals, so what they secrete isn't, technically speaking, milk. But that's what scientists are calling diploptera punctate, which is a protein crystal that roaches feed their live young. Researchers say that it's good for humans to eat. Science Alert reports:

"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," said Sanchari Banerjee, one of the team, in an interview with the Times of India.

Not only is the milk a dense source of calories and nutrients, it’s also time released. As the protein in the milk is digested, the crystal releases more protein at an equivalent rate to continue the digestion.

"It’s time-released food," said Subramanian Ramaswamy, who led the project. "if you need food that is calorifically high, that is time released and food that is complete. This is it."

Milking individual cockroaches is a chore, though. So Banerjee's research team is working on a way to artificially duplicate the roach milk production process in a laboratory setting. Sadly, it will be a while before you see roach milk on grocery store shelves.

-via Joe Carter

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