Most companies in edible insect call the ingredient “insect flour”, while a minority refers to it as “insect powder”. Some experts dispute the use of the term “flour” arguing that flours are made from vegetable, not animal, sources. Still, for a marketing usage, the word flour may resonate better with consumers.
In the past couple of years the production has improved, reaching better quality, a lighter color and a thinner mesh. Although the chosen drying method is still hot air oven (roasting) for the majority of flour makers, other technologies have been adopted, like spray drying or microwaving. The obstacle in the adoption of different methods is mostly in the price of the machinery. Cricket and mealworm powders for human consumption still face a low demand, and makers cannot afford to buy a drier designed for large factories, with volumes per day which are way above the demand from the market.
Now Packaged Processed Insect products can be also made with defatted flour, an option not available just a couple of years ago. Defatting crickets means a higher protein percentage (above 70%) and a milder taste. It is possible to assume shelf life would also be longer with a defatted insect flour.
In the photo, the Bugsolutely’s collection of insect powders (including silkworm powder, quite a rarity).