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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Science| South African Engineer Turns Protein-rich Caterpillars Into Savoury Biscuits and Chocolates

A start-up entrepreneur, hailing from South Africa, has changed the perception of considering caterpillars as a worm by turning them into a snack.

Though it sounds unbelievable, the African chemical engineer, Wendy Vesela, said she found the black caterpillar packed with protein and iron. While speaking to South Africa-based NTV, the engineer said she planned to turn the inchworm into flour that can be later utilised in preparing savoury biscuits, sweet chocolate protein bars, cereals or smoothies.

Not only this, but she claimed Caterpillars can also be used in pizzas as toppings after steaming them at high temperature.

While narrating the reason behind the “incredible” idea, Vesela said she found several domestic and international customers eagerly seeking to use caterpillars as a source of protein.

She also cited how edible insects and worms are gaining popularity in Western cultures.

Besides, the chemical engineer revealed she belongs to Limpopo Limpopo and added his community use mopane as a staple food, cooked in a sauce of onions and tomatoes. “Caterpillars are a healthier option of protein. And it’s not a worm. So people have just to get over that fear,” she told the local media outlet.

She said mopanes are environmentally friendly and require no extra space or water for their survival. He said it is generally found on mopane trees, which grow in hot and dry regions of southern Africa.

“It’s high in protein, in essential fats and minerals, especially iron. It has more iron than the most expensive piece of steak,” she said.

Further, Vesela said she had started a big venture nearly seven months ago and added the business is thriving well.

She said she would expand her business in the near future. The young South African chemical engineer said she is now hiring women from rural backgrounds in order to support them with money.

COPY SUPPLIED| Republicworld.com

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