Edible insects: A source of bioactive peptides - Food & Function cover

Cover of the issue designed Carla S. S. Teixeira, Rita Biltes, Caterina Villa, Joana Costa and Isabel Mafra

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Climate change and the expected growth of the world population will bring serious problems for the next generations in finding sustainable solutions to meet the food and feed demands without impacting the planet sustainability. Edible insects are a sustainable and economic alternative to animal protein that has been gaining relevance in recent years, although its consumption is not common in western countries. To change consumers perception, it is mandatory to divulge all potential health benefits resulting from insect consumption.

Our group has embraced this objective and has been exploring new health benefits related to the consumption of 4 insects species regulated by the European Commission. In our recent work we have identified for the first time 3 peptides (TCDSL, IDCSR and EAEEGQF) obtained from the simulated gastrointestinal digestion of migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) who were predicted to possess bioactivity against cardiac and pulmonary fibrosis (C.S.S. Teixeira, R. Biltes, C. Villa, S.F. Sousa, J. Costa, I.M.P.L.V.O. Ferreira, I. Mafra. Exploiting Locusta migratoria as a source of bioactive peptides with anti-fibrosis properties using an in silico approach, Food & Function, 15: 493-502, 2024.