Researchers from the University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO University) proposed adding a new ingredient to sausages: chitin extracted from locusts.
Locust shells are abundant in chitin – the substance that provides strength to insects’ “armor” without making it heavy. Strangely enough, chitin has long been regarded as a potentially useable substance in the food industry: Russian scientists first took interest in it one and a half centuries ago.
According to ITMO University researchers, chitin can make food products healthier and safer. It is not surprising that chitosan (the substance derived from chitin) is used in a great number of drugs and food products, but it is normally extracted from crabs and shrimp today.
Chitin is not digested by our body as well as chitosan. This is precisely the issue ITMO University researchers are working to resolve: they have started a study expected to help them develop the technology for producing chitin that would be both rich in nutritious substances and digest well. They see locusts as a reliable and less expensive source of chitin.
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