Scarabaeidae as human food ‒ A comprehensive review
Rising global population and sustainable protein demand have sparked interest in unique food sources. Entomophagy, or insect consumption, presents a solution and Scarab beetles, part of the Scarabaeidae family, offer a novel food option. The comprehensive review underscores their potential as human food, with strong nutrition, low environmental impact, and the ability to ease strain on conventional agriculture. Nutritional analysis reveals rich protein content, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Scarab beetles' beneficial fatty acid profile and healthy fats position them as a superior protein source to traditional livestock. Scarabaeidae excel in feed conversion, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and require minimal land, establishing them as an ecologically sustainable protein source. Cultural attitudes towards insect consumption vary; history exists in some regions while skepticism prevails in others. Highlighting nutritional advantages, organizing outreach, and introducing processed scarab products could enhance acceptance. The review addresses challenges including mass rearing, processing, allergens, and toxins. Evolving insect-based food regulations require cautious consideration. Success depends on multidisciplinary efforts including nutrition, environmental sustainability, cultural openness, and regulatory alignment. Continued research and collaboration are essential to fully unlock Scarabaeidae's potential as a sustainable, nutritious food source for our growing global population.