Fancy a sago weevil worm nugget for dinner? It’s only served up in space
Worms and insects have been part of Thai cuisine for generations, and now they may end up being served up to astronauts in space.
Keeta, a team of Thai food researchers, have come up with edible nuggets made from sago palm weevil worms as part of Nasa’s “Deep Space Food Challenge”.
The Thai team made it to the last 10 after beating nearly 300 contestants.
Keeta’s founder Potiwat Ngamkajornwiwat said the team had come up with the sago weevil nugget to match the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa)’s demand for nutrition for astronauts who go on three-year-long space-exploration trips.
He said the sago weevil worms can be nurtured and turned into food using a 3D printer. The entire operation will require no more than 30 square metres.
In addition, he said, the sago weevil worm is hardy and can survive space travel.
“Insects are popular among Thais, have high nutrition and can be reproduced in large amounts,” he said, adding that this innovation will meet the needs of many businesses, including space travel, space mining or even living on other planets.
"If we receive support from different sectors, it will help Thailand become a world leader in the space food business,” he added.
Team member Sittiphol Koosermmit reckons this innovation can also help tackle food scarcity in remote areas.
“This way, Thailand can be promoted as the world and space kitchen,” he said.
Contestants have until December 16 to submit their creations for the final round, in which five teams will be selected.
The five finalists will then be required to hold on-site demonstrations and sample collection, with the winners being chosen in March next year.