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Ground-breaking Research into Health Benefits of Crickets

Wellington, 17 December 2019. Wairarapa Bakery Breadcraft has begun ground-breaking research, funded by Callaghan Innovation, to explore the health benefits of crickets for gut health.

Breadcraft has a Massey University Food Technology student working on-site for ten weeks during the summer period, funded by a Callaghan Innovation R&D Work Experience Grant.

John Hart, Future Foods Manager at Breadcraft, says this research has been a long-term goal. He is keen to explore what health benefits crickets offer, beyond protein.

"We're excited to take the first steps to identify and extract some of the health-promoting compounds in crickets. Early overseas research has revealed the potential for crickets to improve gut health, among other benefits. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can achieve through our Callaghan Grant over the next few months,” says John Hart.

Nelson Harper is a Chemical and Bio-process Engineering student at Massey University and says he is excited about contributing to the innovation happening at Breadcraft.

“We’re interested in extracting different compounds from crickets. There is some interest in chitin, a fibre different to what’s found in fruits and vegetables. Already we’ve identified other useful products with the potential for development,” says Nelson Harper.

Braden Loveridge, Business Advisor Callaghan Innovation, says their research grants enable more than 1300 university students to work on research and development (R&D) projects. 520 companies around the country are participating over the next couple of months.
One of the challenges the world faces is figuring out how to feed a rapidly growing global population which is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. To meet that challenge, we will have to be more inventive in terms of our food sources and production. It’s great to see Breadcraft looking at the opportunities to innovate and explore less traditional food sources,” says Braden Loveridge.
While research into the health benefits of crickets is in the early stages, there is long term potential for a product to be created from crickets to benefit human gut health.

About Breadcraft
Established in the Wairarapa in 1942, Breadcraft has always had a passion for doing things differently. 76 years on and our bakers are still innovating. Much has changed, but our commitment to good, honest ingredients, great taste and awesome value remain the same. As always, it’s served with a big slice of aroha.

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