New Superfood: Here’s How Cockroach Milk Is Made

Posted By Staff

Date: August 6th, 2018

Category: Nutty News

roachCockroaches may be gross but milk derived from these insects could be the new superfood. Researchers said that cockroach milk is healthier than cow’s milk.

The Next Superfood?

The cockroach milk is made of the nutrient-rich milk crystals produced by the Pacific Beetle cockroach (Diploptera punctata), which lives along Asia’s Pacific rim.

The species, the only known roach that gives birth to live young, uses its protein crystals as food for its infants but researchers found that these could be beneficial to humans as well. They discovered that a single milk crystal contains more than three times the energy found in the same amount of dairy milk.

How To Milk A Cockroach

How did the researchers extract milk from the Pacific Bettle cockroach? Milking a cockroach is nothing like milking cow. For one, researchers extracted crystals that do not look much like liquid milk.

“The concept of milk here really refers to the nutritious substance that’s meant for the young, and not the white-colored liquid that you and I get from the supermarket,” said Leonard Chavas, who is part of the team that studied the potential benefits of cockroach milk.

The process of milking cockroach involves killing the insect sans crushing it because its abdomen needs to be opened to retrieve the shiny, nutritious crystal.

“Crystals extracted from the midgut of D. punctata embryos were dissolved and subjected to denaturing sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis,” researchers wrote in their study, which was published in in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography.

The extracted crystals can then be stored in an environment that is neither too acidic nor too alkaline.

Harvesting the milk should also be done at the right stage in the lifespan of the cockroach. The cockroach starts to lactate for its offspring at around 40 day days old, which is around the time it is best to extract the nutritious crystals from it.

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