Quebecers will soon be able to feast on locally produced insect-based chips, the flavor of which was developed by chef Daniel Vézina.
• Read also: Horrible conditions in slaughterhouses: “No miracle solution”, according to the minister
• Read also: Shortage of veterinarians: animals crammed under cruel conditions in slaughterhouses
Marco Poulin, now based in Cap-Santé, in Portneuf, breeds mealworms with his company, Fermes Mystik. Two products are currently available: an insect powder, with a high protein value, and a fertilizer, called Viridi.
But the next product, which the company intends to launch by the end of October, should bring it greater notoriety among the public.
“I’ve been thinking about it for three years and I’ve been working on it for two years. But COVID, it was not easy, ”says Mr. Poulin, about his chips made from insect powder bearing the Entomo Proteins brand.
“At the moment, the chips are available in a 40 g bag. The flavors are sesame-activated charcoal, sea buckthorn and kale each offering 6 g of protein, ”he explains.
“They will retail for between $ 4.29 and $ 4.49, but with nutritional value. There is no artificial flavor or color. We make our kale here. Sea buckthorn comes from a producer in Portneuf. The crisps are entirely made here, ”says Mr. Poulin.
After mixing the dough, a machine compresses it to obtain the desired thickness. The dough is then baked in the oven, without oil.
“I developed the basis of the recipe. I tried adding flavor, but struggled. We turned to a great chef, Daniel Vézina. He had in his mandate to have proteins, fibers and iron. He didn’t want salt and vinegar or BBQ and developed those flavors for us. At first, I was not keen on that, ”says the one who does not regret having been convinced.
The great advantage of insect chips is the high protein content compared to calories.
In three to four months, Marco Poulin, again with the collaboration of Daniel Vézina, hopes to be able to market energy bars.
The beer industry
Still with Chef Vézina, Mr. Poulin is currently developing another niche, that of insect, beer and mushroom chips with three breweries.
“I gave the product a taste to my staff, friends and family. I didn’t tell them all it was with bugs because I wanted to see their reaction. And it was a great success. They were really amazed when I told them how it was done. It’s a little spicy-salty, we can see that it would be good with a beer, it’s a very interesting product that doesn’t remind us that we eat insects ”, explains Benjamin Somers, co-founder and co-owner of Microbrasserie 4 Origins of Montreal.