Properly cooked, mealworms taste like flour, scientists say. The latter would therefore like to use insects as flavoring in prepared dishes to reduce the environmental impact of meat.
After several experiments, scientists have discovered that mealworms can taste like meat when prepared correctly. As the newspaper reports The Guardian , they could be used as a flavoring in cooked dishes in the future. Insects are also a source of protein much better for the environment than traditional meat.
Mealworms release all their flavors when heated. In order to achieve a taste similar to meat, scientists have cooked with sugar . At high temperature, insect proteins and sugar interact and caramelize, the result is surprising: the final mixture is salty. They also discovered that by changing the cooking method, the worms have completely different aromas. If steamed, their flavor is reminiscent of sweet corn whereas if they are roasted or fried, the taste approaches that of shrimp .
As the scientists who conducted this study point out, insects are already popular in the kitchen in some communities in Asia, Africa and South America. In addition, mealworms or locusts are considered ' super-foods ' : ' insects are a real source of healthy and nutritious food with a large amount of fatty acids, vitamins, fiber and quality proteins, such as meat 'explains Hee Cho, researcher in charge of the study at the University of WonkWang in South Korea. The insects represent a considerable benefit for the planet , their breeding requiring much less resources and space, it is therefore less polluting than that of meat. She states: 'The traditional livestock farming produces more greenhouse gases than cars '.
But people in Europe and North America are more reluctant to eat insects, so these scientists hope use mealworms as a flavoring in cooked dishes could help turn the tide, as well as reduce meat production and consumption around the world.