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Abstract

Entomophagy is not well accepted in Western European populations but it is common in the world. In the future, populations from developed countries should adapt to other sources of animal proteins because traditional breeding of beef, poultry or pork will become unsustainable.

This study was performed to assess the perception of entomophagy in the Belgian population. A slight neophobia was detected but people agreed to evaluate insect preparations. Various insect formulations (mealworms and house crickets) were prepared, and insects associated with known flavors and crispy textures were preferred. After a hedonic test, people seemed to be willing to eat and cook insects in the near future.

The opportunity to introduce entomophagy in food habits of Western European populations was positively concluded. Integration of edible insects in human food is a potential solution to replace other animal protein sources in a much more sustainable development and will deserve more attention in the future.

Practical Applications

This study shows the edible insects' potential to become a usual food ingredient in Western European populations. Our results show that consumers are ready to buy and cook insects at home if they are able to associate them with familiar flavors.