By Anas Abu Hassan and Muhammad Zaini Mohd Zin
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 : Cricket, an omnivorous insect, is making a presence in Malaysia as a superfood and sustainable substitution for protein, and it is high in calcium and iron.
Ento, a company founded by lawyer-turned-entrepreneur Kevin Wu Khai Woon, 26, is making a mark in supplying crickets as an alternative protein source.
“It has three times more protein than beef or chicken, seven times more iron than kale and at least four times more fibre than oatmeal,” said Wu, who is also the chief executive officer of the company, established last year.
The company, which has an indoor cricket farm here, produces roasted crickets with original taste, and Korean kimchi and Singaporean salted egg yolk flavours, besides crickets in granola protein bites and in powder form.
“Breeding crickets is also highly sustainable since it requires less land and water, and emits lower greenhouse gases,” Wu told told Bernama on the sidelines of the International Greentech and Eco Product Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM) 2019 held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, here..
“It takes them two months to grow into mature crickets in a controlled environment, before processing them into consumable superfood.
“Once the crickets mature, we freeze them and then rinse them in hot water to get rid of any remaining bacteria before we slow-roast them in our industrial oven.
“The roasted crickets will be crispy and crunchy before we send them for lab test to ensure there is no harmful bacteria and that they have high nutritional value,” he said.
Wu disclosed that the product had been registered with the Ministry of Health and tested in accredited labs before being commercialised.
“We are also in the process of getting Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Halal certification,” he added.
Apart from whole roasted crickets with different flavours, Wu said Ento was also producing black soldier flies.
“So far, we have been exporting our products to the United States, Singapore and Australia, and we are not just catering for the consumer market, but also business-to-business basis,” he said.