Austrian Duo Develops Device For Breeding Mealworms At Home

Mar 22, 2016 06:48 AM EDT | By Chandan Das

In a pioneering move, two Austrian entrepreneurs, Katharina Unger, 25, and Julia Kaisinger, 28, have developed a novel device that helps to breed protein-rich mealworms in the comforts of one's home and subsequently eat them.

While this may seem to be absurd for many, especially the squeamish Westerners, the new device is being considered as a step ahead in food revolution that can help to save people of this planet from food scarcity, reports China Daily.

The report quoted Unger saying that the present design of the device can help one to make anything between 200 and 500 grams of mealworms every week. According to the innovator, after you freeze the mealworms they can be used for making any form of meat. Moreover, they can be cooked, roasted, used for making burger patties and even blended with sauce for making pasta.

The device resembles a sleek, white "desktop hive." The pupae are put in the top section of the device for hatching into adults. The next sections, called the "loveshack," are for allowing the insects to mate, following which their eggs drop into the bottom layer.

The device is controlled microclimate, which help the eggs hatch into larvae. Gradually the larvae grow and go down to a drawer at the bottom. They are harvested when they are roughly 3 cm long and plump. According to Unger, every member of her team consumes these mealworms nearly daily. They are used to top Greek salads, make chocolate and worm cake and quinoa and mealworm meatballs.

Entomophagy or eating insects is nothing new for humans have been consuming them for several thousand years and currently they are a part of the common foods in many developing nations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania, Canada News reported. In fact, even the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has said that insects form a part of traditional diets for no less than two billion people across the globe. As many as 1,900 insect species are consumed worldwide, it added.

Moreover, mealworms are nutritious, as their protein content is equal to that of beef. At the same time, they contain more vitamin B12 compared to eggs and additional fiber compared to broccoli.

Watch the video "Breed-your-own insect for the kitchen" below:

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