Hopping to make cricket pasta
Australian owned and operated food brand Hoppa has released a pasta product made from crickets which are claimed to be packed with more than 60% protein, amino acids, omegas and Vitamin B12.
According to enthusiasts, crickets are the way forward when it comes to sustainability, providing protein food products at a lower environmental cost than traditional livestock farming. And it turns out that their mild, slightly nutty flavour also happens to work well with pasta.
Made from 100% natural cricket flour and durum wheat, the cricket-based pasta from Hoppa is said to contain almost twice as much protein as regular pasta with no artificial ingredients. The product is also dairy- and soy-free.
Founder Channy Sandhu explained: “Our crickets are raised responsibly with complete traceability and fed a high-quality, nutritious diet. By introducing this superfood to a popular staple such as pasta we hope to help people make positive health choices while doing our bit for the environment.”
What were the challenges?
When asked about the challenges the company faced when setting up the manufacturing processes for the product, a Hoppa team spokesperson said it was firstly difficult to find a pasta manufacturer willing to manufacture pasta using cricket flour. “Most manufacturers did not want to introduce insect-based flour in their production lines. We even had some thinking it was some kind of a joke that we wanted to make pasta with insect flour,” said the spokesperson.
Getting the recipe development right was a key part of the development. “We wanted to make sure there was no big difference in the taste of the cricket pasta to your regular pasta but had a substantial nutritional benefit as compared to a regular pasta. After several recipe development and tasting sessions, we came up with the right formula for our pastas.
“Our pastas only contain two ingredients — cricket flour and durum wheat — and the core of our business is to ensure sustainability, taste and healthiness in our foods, so getting the recipe right was the key.”
Ensuring the packaging achieved the necessary shelf-life and freshness requirements for the products was also a challenge as the business has an emphasis on minimal plastic use. “Hoppa is working towards a zero plastic policy in its business operations,” the spokesperson concluded.
The cricket pasta is currently available in penne and fusilli varieties and comes in 250 g packages.
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