30/05/2018 07:47 SAST | Updated 30/05/2018 07:47 SAST

Would You Drink Cockroach 'Milk' – And Should You?

We’ll stick to coconut milk for now, thanks.

You've no doubt heard insect protein being touted as a future food trend. Well, now researchers believe we could all be drinking cockroach "milk" in years to come.

The "milk", a "post-natal fluid" secreted by a mother cockroach to nourish her 50-something strong army of baby cockroaches, has been touted as an excellent source of nutrition and amino acids by researchers from the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India.

So should we be drinking it?

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Researcher Sanchari Banerjee told the Times of India, "The crystals are like a complete food — they have proteins, fats, and sugars. If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids."

It seems we might not be glugging the stuff anytime soon though, as the process of extracting the "milk" actually kills the cockroaches. You also need a hell of a lot of insects to get a glass of "milk".

According to science site Inverse, scientists carve out the cockroach's gut with a scalpel to harvest the "milk", which looks like crystals. It's thought it takes one person half a day to process the "milk" of two to three roaches. So a very slow and not-so-lucrative process.

Cockroaches could still be coming to a diet near you in other forms, however. Scientists from the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil created flour made from cockroaches, which contains 40 percent more protein than standard plain flour. Like cockroach "milk", the flour contained a large number of amino acids and some lipids and fatty acids as well.