Microbial communities in crickets

Photo of crickets on a plate, on a wooden table

Insect farming is a promising source of protein to address challenges of food security and the need for more sustainable diets. Crickets (Acheta domesticus) are at forefront of this drive for sustainable protein, but there are concerns about a lack of knowledge of the microbial risks associated with large-scale intense insect farming; what are the sources of contamination, how do insects interact with pathogens, how long do they persist and how can they be detected?

Dr Edward Fox from Northumbria University is working with the UK Edible Insect Association (formerly the Woven Network) in this project to address these issues by providing the first detailed landscape of the microbial communities associated with cricket farming and the associated risks to food safety.