Kyoto-based FoodTech startup, BugMo, has spent years mastering the taste of pulverised insect-based ingredients. It is now in the process of launching its newest food innovation- cricket protein burgers- in October.  

BugMo, a FoodTech startup founded in Japan in 2018, is committed to innovating in and developing insect-based food alternatives to create a sustainable ecosystem amid the growing food crisis brought on by the shortage of resources and climate change.

The company has a proven track record of developing protein-rich superfoods, with the help of enlisted culinary experts and the use of its proprietary technology, having previously innovated its first future product from pulverised cricket powder turned into nutrient-dense protein bars, mastering the taste and texture for the masses.

Breaking the stigma of pulverised insect-based ingredients in Japan, the company mixes the cricket protein paste with texturised soy protein, and having recently developed their alternative burger patty, which closely resembles the umami flavourings of an authentic hamburger.

The product developer at BugMo, Masahiro Sagara, spent years mastering the pulverising technique to formulate the finely-grind flour that is used to make the faux burgers, making it more appealing to their customers.

Sagara mentioned how the use of crickets for their recipes not only “reproduces the flavour of animal meat,” but also “makes a faux meat that is richer in amino acids, vitamins, iron and other minerals than alternatives made with soy protein alone.”

“Cricket protein products have been on the market for many years, dogged by taste problems and a lack of nutrients,” added Sagara.

He further highlighted that the the key to pulverising the insects into the ideal size to avoid any obvious texture and taste, was to have the particles range between 0.1 of a square millimeter to 0.5 of a square millimeter. Upon which the patties encapsulates the authentic texture and colour of the real meat patty, and offers the similar juiciness and flavouring with each bite.

Japanese FoodTech Startup BugMo

BugMo is dedicated to driving a sustainable eating lifestyle among its customers, first by starting to sell pulverised insect-based soup and other products, and eventually developing their umami-packed cricket burger patties which are expected to be launched around October.

Its meat-alternative solution, the cricket paste, can also be mixed with other soy-derived products, along with other demi-glace sauces and cooking essentials, Sagara added, “by mixing it with potatoes and other staples, we can provide protein to impoverished countries.”

Insects are known to be great protein alternatives to beef and pork, as well as other livestock meats, and have been increasingly popular amongst FoodTech innovators and developers as a sustainable and abundant substitute to effectively reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

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