Forget donkey’s milk, according to scientists we could soon be guzzling the “fantastic” protein supplement that is cockroach ‘milk’.
Researchers have discovered that a protein crystal found in the gut of cockroaches is three times better than cow’s milk.
While cockroaches don’t technically produce milk, researchers said that a breed of roach called Diploptera punctate has been shown to feed an energy-filled milk-like liquid to its offspring.
This, they said, could hold the key to feeding the global population - particularly those in developing areas who suffer from malnourishment - in years to come.
Researchers from the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India want to replicate the milk protein crystals produced by cockroaches in their laboratory.
They will do this by sequencing the genes responsible for producing the milk protein crystals in the lab.
Researcher Sanchari Banerjee likened the crystals to “a complete food” in terms of nutrition.
“They have proteins, fats and sugars,” he told The Times of India. “If you look into the protein sequences, they have all the essential amino acids.”
Scientists hope to get yeast to produce the protein crystals in larger quantities - so we don’t have to go about the rather gross method of stealing protein crystals from the guts of cockroaches.
We’ll probably stick to cow’s milk for now.