Cockroach Milk: The New Superfood? Here’s How It’s Made


Cockroaches are revolting, let’s face it. However, milk extracted from these pests is so nutritionally dense that it could be the novel superfood.

Photo by: Alternative Daily

Researchers said that the milk generated by the Diploptera punctata (Pacific Beetle cockroach) is more than 4 times as nutritive as cow’s milk — 3 times richer in calories than buffalo milk — and the protein crystals in it are the most nutritional substance, per weight, yet discovered.

Though the majority of cockroaches don’t actually generate milk, the Pacific Beetle cockroach, which is the only known cockroach to deliver birth to live young, has been seen to pump out a type of ‘milk’ carrying protein crystals to feed its young.

Diploptera punctata giving birth; Photo by: Báo Mới

Not only is the milk a thick source of nutrients and calories, it’s also time released.

“It’s time-released food,” said Dr. Subramanian Ramaswamy, a biochemist.

“If you need food that is calorifically high, that is time released and food that is complete. This is it.”

As the protein inside the milk is digested, the crystal (seen below) discharges more protein at an equivalent rate to persist the digestion.

What you Need to Know Before Milking a Cockroach:

  • The cockroach has to be female and milkable.
  • Not every cockroach is viable.
  • Verify the cockroaches belong to a species called Diploptera punctate—found primarily in the Pacific area.
  • Preferably around 54 days old, that’s when the embryos reach 40 to 45 % gestation.

How to Milk a Cockroach:

The process involved with milking cockroach is plainly NOTHING like milking cow. The procedure involves ending a cockroach without crushing it, as—in order to collect all the shiny, nutritious crystals—one would need to spread the insect’s abdomen.

“The concept of milk here really refers to the nutritious substance that’s meant for the young, and not the white-colored liquid that you and I get from the supermarket,” said Leonard Chavas, who was part of a team that studied the prospective benefits of cockroach milk.

“Crystals extracted from the midgut of D. punctata embryos were dissolved and subjected to denaturing sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis,” researchers noted in their study, which was later published in the Journal of the International Union of Crystallography.

The extracted crystals can then be stored in an atmosphere that is neither too alkaline nor too acidic.


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