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Nutritional and sensory quality of edible insects

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Insects are for many nations and ethnic groups an indispensable part of the diet. From a nutritional point of view, insects have significant protein content. It varies from 20 to 76% of dry matter depending on the type and development stage of the insect. Fat content variability is large (2–50% of dry matter) and depends on many factors. Total polyunsaturated fatty acids content may be up to 70% of total fatty acids. Carbohydrates are represented mainly by chitin, whose content ranges between 2.7mg to 49.8mg per kg of fresh matter. Some species of edible insects contain a reasonable amount of minerals (K, Na, Ca, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn and P) as well as vitamins such as B group vitamins, vitamins A D, E, K, and C. However their content is seasonal and dependent on the feed. From the hygienic point of view it should be pointed out that some insects may produce or contain toxic bioactive compounds. They may also contain residues of pesticides and heavy metals from the ecosystem. Adverse human allergic reactions to edible insects could be also a possible hazard.
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Review article
Nutritional and sensory quality of edible insects
Lenka Kouřimská
a,
, Anna Adámková
b
a
Department of Microbiology, Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6 Suchdol,
Czech Republic
b
Department of Quality of Agricultural Products, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6 Suchdol,
Czech Republic
abstractarticle info
Article history:
Received 2 J anuary 2016
Received in revised form 14 June 2016
Accepted 12 July 2016
Available online 16 July 2016
Insects arefor many nations and ethnic groups an indispensablepart of the diet. From a nutritional point of view,
insects have signicant protein content. It varies from 20 to 76% of dry matter depending on the type and devel-
opment stage of the insect. Fat content variability is large (250% of dry matter) and depends on many factors.
Total polyunsaturated fatty acids' content may be up to 70% of total fatty acids. Carbohydrates are represented
mainly by chitin, whose content ranges between 2.7 mg and 49.8 mg per kg of fresh matter. Some species of ed-
ible insects contain a reasonable amount of minerals (K, Na, Ca, Cu, Fe,Zn, Mn and P) as well as vitamins such as B
group vitamins, vitamins A, D, E, K, and C.However their contentis seasonal and dependent on the feed. From the
hygienic point of view it should be pointed out that some insects may produce or contain toxic bioactive com-
pounds. They may also contain residues of pesticides and heavy metals from the ecosystem. Adverse human al-
lergic reactions to edible insects could be also a possible hazard.
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH on behalf of Societyof Nutrition and Food Science e.V. This is an
open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords:
Chitin
Entomophagy
Fat
Minerals
Proteins
Vitamins
Contents
1. Introduction...............................................................22
2. Whyeatinsects?.............................................................23
3. Nutritionalvalueofedibleinsect......................................................23
3.1. Energyvalue ........................................................... 23
3.2. Proteins.............................................................. 23
3.3. Lipids...............................................................23
3.4. Fibre ............................................................... 24
3.5. Minerals ............................................................. 24
3.6. Vitamins ............................................................. 24
4. Sensoryqualityofedibleinsect ......................................................25
5. Risksofinsectseating...........................................................25
6. Conclusion................................................................26
Conictsofinterest .............................................................. 26
Acknowledgments............................................................... 26
References ..................................................................26
1. Introduction
The term entomophagy(from the Greek words ντομον éntomon,
insectand φγενphagein,to eat) refers to the use of insects as
food: human insectivory [1]. The eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of
insects were used in prehistoric times as food ingredients in humans,
and this trend has continued into modern times. Man was omnivorous
in early development and ate insects quite extensively. Before people
had tools for hunting or farming, insect constituted an important com-
ponent of the human diet. Moreover, people lived mainly in warm re-
gions, where different kinds of insects were available throughout the
year. Insects were often a welcome source of protein in the absence of
meat from vertebrates [2].
NFS Journal 4 (2016) 2226
Corresponding author. Tel.: +420 224383507.
E-mail address: kourimska@af.czu.cz (L. Kouřimská).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nfs.2016.07.001
2352-3646/© 20 16 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH on behalf o f Society of Nutrition and Food Scie nce e.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
NFS Journal
journal homepage: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/nfs-journal/
Evidence of eating insects in human history has been found from
analysis of fossils from caves in the USA and Mexico. For example,
coprolites from caves in Mexico included ants, beetle larvae, lice, ticks
and mites [3]. The evidence of entomophagy was conrmed using ana-
lytical techniques. Analysis of stable carbon isotopes showed that
Australopithecus bones and enamel were signicantly enriched in the
isotope
13
C. This suggests that the diet of these people was mostly
animals feeding on grasses, including insects [2]. Another evidence is
from paintings in the Artamila caves in northern Spain (9000
3000 BC.) [3]. According to Lesnik [4] termites were included into the
Plio-Pleistocene hominin diet.
Nowadays human insect-eating is traditionally practised in 113
countries around the world. Over 2000 insect species are known to be
edible. Globally, the most frequently consumed species are beetles,
caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants. They are followed by grasshoppers,
locusts and crickets, cicadas, leafhoppers and bugs, termites, dragon-
ies, ies and other species [5]. The largest consumption of insects is
in Africa, Asia and Latin America [5]. In most European countries, the
human consumption of insects is very low and oftenculturally inappro-
priate or even taboo. The nutritional value of insects is comparable to
commonly eaten meats. Considering the growing population in the
world and the increasing demand for production of traditional beef,
pork and chicken meat, edible insects should be seriously considered
as a source of animal protein [6].
In terms of farming conditions the following insect species could be
bred and consumed in Europe: house cricket (Acheta domestica),
Jamaican eld cricket (Gryllus assimilis), African migratory locust
(Locusta migratoria), desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), yellow meal-
worm beetle (Tenebrio molitor), superworm (Zophobas morio), lesser
mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus) western honey bee (Apis mellifera)
and wax moth (Galleria mellonella)[7].
2. Why eat insects?
Increasing population growth in the world increases demand for
protein sources but the amount of available farmland is limited. In
2050 the world population is estimated at more than 9 billion people,
resulting in an additional need for food of half the current needs.
Conventional protein sources may be insufcient and we will have to
focus on alternative sources [8], which may be edible insects [9].In
Africa, Southeast Asia and the northern part of Latin America, this
large group of animals is a popular delicacy and an interesting assort-
ment of foodenrichment. For example in Mexico, chapulines (grasshop-
pers of the genus Sphenarium) are a frequent national dish together
with beef and beans [10].
Compared with livestock, breeding insects seems to be more envi-
ronmentally friendly because of lower greenhouse gas emissions,
water pollution and land use [11]. Insects show higher feed conversion
efciency (i.e. a measure of the animal's efciency in converting feed
mass into body mass) in comparison with mammalian livestock.
Van Huis et al. [11] even stated the feed conversion of house cricket
(A. domestica) to be twice that of chickens, 4 times higher than in pigs
and more than 12 times higher than in cattle.
An interesting positive aspect of entomophagy is its help in reducing
pesticide use. Collection of edible insects considered as pests can con-
tribute to reduced use of insecticides. Furthermore, the economic bene-
ts of collecting insects as compared with the cultivation of plants
should also be taken into account. In Mexico, collecting insects for
human consumptionresulted in a reduction in the quantity of pesticides
in agricultural crop production and a decreased nancial burden on
farmers [10,12].
3. Nutritional value of edible insect
The nutritional value of edible insects is very diverse mainly because
of the large number and variability of species. Nutritional values can
vary considerably even within a group of insects depending on the
stage of metamorphosis, origin of the insect and its diet [13]. Similarly
the nutritional value changes according to the preparation and process-
ing before consumption (drying, cooking, frying etc.) [11]. According to
Payne et al. [14] insect nutritional composition showed high diversity
between species. The Nutrient Value Score of crickets, palm weevil lar-
vae and mealworm was signicantly healthier than in the case of beef
and chicken and none of six tested insects were statistically less healthy
than meat. Most edible insects provide sufcient energy and proteins
intake in the human diet, as well as meeting the amino acid require-
ments. Insects also have a high content of mono- and polyunsaturated
fatty acids; they are rich in trace elements such as copper, iron,
magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc, as well as
vitamins like riboavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and folic acid in some
cases [15].
3.1. Energy value
The energy value of edible insects depends on their composition,
mainly on the fat content. Larvae or pupae are usually richer in energy
compared to adults. Conversely high protein insect species have lower
energy content [16]. Ramos-Elorduy et al. [17] analysed 78 kinds of in-
sects and calculated their caloric value in the range from 293 to
762 kcal per 100 g of dry matter. Table 1 shows the energy value of select-
ed species of edible insects, expressed in kcal per 100 g fresh weight [11].
3.2. Proteins
Bednářová [16] examined the total protein content of seven species
of insects.Total protein content was relatively the same in all measured
types of insects except for the wax moth (G. mellonella) where the pro-
tein content (based on dry matter) was only 38.4%. The percentage of
other species ranged from 50.7% for yellow mealworm (T. molitor)to
62.2% for the African migratory locust (L. migratoria). Xiaoming et al.
[18] assessed protein content in 100 insect species. Protein content
was in the range of 13 to 77% by dry matter (Table 2), reecting the
large variability of tested species. Eighty-seven species of edible insects
were investigated in Mexico, and the average protein content wasfrom
15% to 81%. Insect protein digestibility, which is 76 to 96% [17] was also
examinedin this study. These values are on average onlya little smaller
than values for egg protein (95%) or beef (98%) and even higher than in
the case of many plant proteins [19]. Measured amounts of nitrogenous
substances of insects may be higher than their actual protein content
since some nitrogen is also bound in the exoskeleton [20].
Considering the amino acid composition of edible insects, they con-
tain a number of nutritionally valuable amino acids including high levels
of phenylalanine and tyrosine. Some insects contain large amounts of
lysine, tryptophan and threonine, which is decient in certain cereal
proteins. For example, in Angola the intake of these nutrients may be
supplemented by eating termites of the genus Macrotermes subhyalinus
[21]. The native people of Papua New Guinea normally eat tubers, where
the content of lysine and leucine is low. The resulting nutritional gap
could therefore be compensated by the consumption of larvae of the
Rhynchophorus family beetle that have high amounts of lysine. On the
contrary tubers contain a high proportion of tryptophan, and aromatic
amino acids which are present in limited quantities in these larvae. Nu-
tritional intake of such a diet is therefore balanced [11,22]. Analysis of
almost a hundred edible insect species showed that the content of
essential amino acids represents 4696% of the total amount of amino
acids [18].
3.3. Lipids
Edible insects contain on average 10 to 60% of fat in dry matter
(Table 3). This is higher in the larvalstages than in adults [18].Caterpil-
lars belong among insects with the highest fat content. Tzompa-Sosa
23L. Kouřimská, A. Adámková / NFS Journal 4 (2016) 2226
et al. [23] determined the total fat content in caterpillars (Lepidoptera)
from 8.6 to 15.2 g per 100 g of insects. In contrast, the fat content ranges
from 3.8 g to 5.3 g per 100 g of insects in grasshoppers and related
Orthoptera species.
Fat is present in several forms in the insect. Triacylglycerols consti-
tute about 80% of fat. They serve as an energy reserve for periods of
high energy intensity, such as longer ights. Phospholipids are the sec-
ond most important group. Their role in the structure of cell membranes
has been studied [23]. The content of phospholipids in fat is usually
less than 20%, but it varies according to the life stage and insect species
[23,24].
There is a relatively high content of C18 fatty acids including oleic,
linoleic and linolenic acids in thefat of insects [23]. Palmitic acid content
is also relatively high. Fatty acid prole is affected by food, which the in-
sects feed upon [22].
Cholesterol is the most abundant sterol in insects. Ekpo et al. [24]
studied the content of cholesterol in the fat of the termite Macrotermes
bellicosus and the caterpillar Imbrasia belina, which are commonly
consumed in Nigeria. They found that the average cholesterol content
in the lipid fraction was 3.6%. Apart from cholesterol, campesterol,
stigmasterol, β-sitosterol and other sterols may bealso present in edible
insects [25].
3.4. Fibre
Edible insects contain a signicant amount of bre. Insoluble chitin is
the most common form of bre in the body of insects contained mainly
in their exoskeleton [11]. Chitin in commercially farmed insects ranged
from 2.7 to 49.8 mg per kg of fresh weight (from 11.6 to 137.2 mg per kg
of dry matter) [26]. Chitin is considered as an indigestible bre, even
though the enzyme chitinase is found in human gastric juices [27].
However, it was found that this enzyme may be inactive. Active
chitinase response in the body prevails among people from tropical
countries where the consumption of insects has a long-term tradition
[28]. Removal of chitin improves the digestibility of insect protein [26].
Chitin is also associated with the defence of the organisms against
some parasitic infections and allergic states [26]. Lee et al. [29] reported
that chitin was antivirally active against tumorigenesis. Chitin and its
derivative chitosan have properties that could improve the immune re-
sponse of specic groups of people. They helped some individuals to be
more resistant against pathogenic bacteria and viruses. There are also
indications that chitin could reduce allergic reactions to certain individ-
uals [30,31]. Chitin of insect exoskeletons acts in the human body like
cellulose and because of this effect it is often called animal bre[32].
Bednářová et al. [33] analysed the amount of bre in 7 different species
of edible insects. The African migratory locust had the highest content,
while the Jamaican eld cricket contained the least bre (Table 4).
3.5. Minerals
Edible insects can be interesting in terms of nutritional content of
minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus,
magnesium, manganese and copper [11]. For example, the large cater-
pillar of the moth Gonimbrasia belina called mopani or mopane has a
high iron content (3177 mg per 100 g of dry matter) and so does the
grasshopper L. migratoria (820 mg per 100 g of dry matter) [34]. Cater-
pillars of mopane could be a good source of zinc (14 mg per 100 g of dry
matter) together with palm weevil larvae Rhynchophorus phoenicis
(26.5 mg per 100 g of dry matter) [22]. On the other hand, the heavy
metal content of an edible grasshopper Oxya chinensis formosana deter-
mined by Hyun et al. [35] was low and safe for human consumption.
3.6. Vitamins
Insects contain a variety of water soluble or lipophilic vitamins [18,
19,36,37].Bukkens[22] listed a variety of insects containing thiamine.
Its content ranges from 0.1 to 4 mg per 100 g of dry matter. Riboavin
is represented in edible insects in amounts from 0.11 to 8.9 mg to
100 g. Vitamin B12 is found in abundance in larvae of the yellow meal-
worm beetle T. molitor (0.47 μg per 100 g) and the house cricket Acheta
domesticus (5.4 μg per 100 g in adults, 8.7 μg per 100 g in nymphs).
However, many otherspecies that have been analysed containonly neg-
ligible amounts of this vitamin [22,36].
Retinol and β-carotene were detected in some butterycaterpil-
lars, such as the species Imbrasia oyemensis,Nudaurelia oyemensis,
Ichthyodes truncata and Imbrasia epimethea containing 3248 μgof
Table 1
Energy value of edible insect.
Source: van Huis et al. [11].
English name Latin name Stage Locality En. value (kcal/100 g)
Australian plague locust Chortoicetes terminifera Adult Australia 499
Weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina Adult Australia 1272
Yellow mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor Larva USA 206
Yellow mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor Adult USA 138
Mexican leafcutting ant Atta mexicana Adult Mexico 404
Two-spotted cricket Gryllus bimaculatus Adult Thailand 120
Japanese grasshopper Oxya japonica Adult Thailand 149
Brown-spotted locust Cyrtacanthacris tatarica Adult Thailand 89
Silkworm Bombyx mori Pupa Thailand 94
African migratory locust Locusta migratoria Adult Netherlands 179
Table 2
Protein content in 100 insect species.
Source: Xiaoming et al. [18].
Order or
suborder
Latin name Stage Protein content
(% in dry matter)
Beetles Coleoptera Adults and larvae 2366
Butteries Lepidoptera Pupae and larvae 1468
Hemipterans Hemiptera Adults and larvae 4274
Homopterans Homoptera Adults, larvae and eggs 4557
Hymenopterans Hymenoptera Adult, pupae, larvae and eggs 1377
Dragonies Odonata Adults and naiads 4665
Orthopterans Orthoptera Adults and nymphs 2365
Table 3
Fat content in dry matter of edible insects.
Source: Bednářová [16].
English name Latin name Stage Fat content
(% in dry matter)
Silkworm Bombyx mori Pupa 29
Western honey bee Apis melifera Brood 31
African migratory locust Locusta migratoria Nymph 13
Wax moth Galleria mellonella Caterpillar 57
Jamaican eld cricket Gryllus assimilis Nymph 34
Yellow mealworm Tenebrio molitor Larva 36
Giant mealworm Zophobas atratus Larva 40
24 L. Kouřimská, A. Adámková / NFS Journal 4 (2016) 2226
retinol and 6.88.2 μgofβ-carotene per 100 g of dry matter. The level
of retinol per 100 g of dry matter was less than 20 μg and the level of
β-carotene was less than 100 μg in the case of yellow mealworms
T. molitor,superwormsZ. morio and house crickets A. domesticus
[22,36,38]. According to Finke [36] several species of lepidopteran
larvae and the soldiers of one species of termites (Nasutitermes
corniger) contain signicant quantities of preformed vitamin A (ret-
inol), but in general, insects do not appear to contain much
preformed vitamin A.
Vitamin E was found in the larvae of the red palm weevil
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, which have on average 35 mg of α-
tocopherol and 9 mg of tocopherols β+γper 100 g of dry matter
[22]. The silkworm Bombyx mori contained 9.65 mg of tocopherols per
100 g of dry matter [39]. Escamoles and eggs of the Formicidae
family could serve as a good source of vitamins A, D and E. They
contained 505 μg/100 g of retinol, 3.31 μg/100 g of cholecalciferol and
2.22 mg/100 g of alpha-tocopherol [40]. According to Rumpold and
Schlüter [15], insects are generally rich in riboavin, pantothenic acid,
and biotin. On the other hand, they are not an efcient source of vitamin
A, vitamin C, niacin, and in most cases thiamin. Oonocx and Dierenfeld
[37] also reported that the vitamin E content was low for most analysed
insect species (616 mg/kg DM), except for Dorsophila melanogaster
and Microcentrum rhombifolium (112 and 110 mg/kg DM). The retinol
content, as a measure of vitamin A activity, was low in all specimens,
but varied greatly among samples (0.670886 mg/kg DM). It should
be noted that the content of vitamins and minerals in wild edible insects
is seasonal and in the case of farm bred species it can be controlled
via feed.
4. Sensory quality of edible insect
In many countries of the world insects are consumed alive immedi-
ately after being caught. In the case of further processing, the best meth-
od for their humane killing is scalding by hot water after starvation for
13 days [32]. Other subsequent culinary processing may be cooking,
baking, frying or drying. Larvae of the yellow mealworm, smaller larvae
of mealworms and migratory locusts belong to the three most common
types of insects offered in special stores where edible insects are bred
and processed for human consumption [11,32,41].
Sensory properties are important criteria accompanying the con-
sumption of edible insects. Taste and avour of insects are very diverse
(Table 5). Flavour is mainly affected by pheromones occurring at the
surface of the insect organism [41]. It also depends on the environment
where insects live and the feed that they eat. Selection of feed can also
be adapted depending on how we wish insects to taste. If insects are
scalded, they are practically tasteless, because pheromones are washed
off by rinsing. During cooking insects take the avour of added
ingredients.
The exoskeleton of insects has a great inuence on the texture. In-
sects are crunchy and sounds accompanying their eating resemble the
sounds of crackers or pretzels [41].Pupae,larvae(caterpillars)and
nymphs are the most consumed stages of edible insects as they contain
a minimal amount of chitin. Therefore, they are not so crispy during
their consumption and are more digestible for the human body. The
vast majority of insects is almost odour-free due to the exoskeleton
[41]. A pleasing colour does not always indicate that an insect is deli-
cious. During cooking, the insect's colour usually changes from the orig-
inal shades of grey, blue or green to red [41]. Insects containing a
considerable amount of oxidized fat, or improperly dried insects, may
be black. Properly dried insects are golden or brown and can be easily
crushed by the ngers [32].
5. Risks of insects eating
Eating insects could pose certain risks that must be taken into ac-
count. The risk prole related to theconsumption of insects has been re-
cently published by the EFSA [7]. A large collection of insects in the wild
could pose serious interference to the landscape ecosystem. Therefore,
it is recommended to consume insects reared at farms in controlled
and dened conditions. The subsequent health safety of edible insects
is thus ensured by the choice of appropriate and safe feed. The results
of analyses carried out in the years 20032010 has shown possible
risks of eating insects fed by bran containing a higher concentration of
heavy metals [42]. It is not recommended to consume insects fed by
an inappropriate diet, for example by organic wastes. On the other
hand, Fontenot [43] concluded that with good management, animal
wastes can be used safely as animal feed for insect protein synthesis.
Some insects can also contain naturally present toxic substances
such as cyanogenic glycosides [44]. According to Vijver et al. [45]
T. molitor larval body concentrations of Cd and Pb correlated also to
the total metal pool of the soil in which the insects lived.
Other possible risks of consuming edible insects are eating inappro-
priate developmental stages of insects, poor handling and culinary
treatment. According to Bouvier [46] consumption of grasshoppers
and locusts without removing their feet can lead to intestinal blockage,
which couldhave fatal consequences. Eating insects can also cause aller-
gies. Some insects have a rigid external covering for the body formed of
chitin, which is difcult to digest for humans. Today, due to the lack of
food containing chitin there is a deciency of the enzyme chitinase
which cleaves chitin. Some individuals have such a small amount of
this enzyme that the eating of insects can cause an allergic reaction to
them [7]. People most at risk are those who are allergic to seafood,
such as shrimp [33].
It is also important to consider the risk of transmission of infectious
diseases from some insect species. Intestinal microbiota of insects could
be a suitable medium for the growth of undesirable microorganisms.
Klunder et al. [20] evaluated the microbial content of fresh, processed
and stored edible insects T. molitor,A. domesticus and Brachytrupes.
The resultsshowed that various types of Enterobacteriaceae and sporu-
lating bacteria can be identied and subsequently isolated from raw in-
sects entering them most likely during contact with the soil [47].If
proper fasting, heat treatment and appropriate storage conditions are
Table 4
Neutral-detergent bre content (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) in the dry matter of
edible insects.
Source: Bednářová [16].
English name Latin name Stage Fibre content
(% in dry matter)
Silkworm Bombyx mori Pupa 14
Western honey bee Apis melifera Brood 11
African migratory locust Locusta migratoria Nymph 27
Wax moth Galleria mellonella Caterpil lar 21
Jamaican eld cricket Gryllus assimilis Nymph 8
Yellow mealworm Tenebrio molitor Larva 18
Giant mealworm Zophobas atratus Larva 17
Table 5
Taste and avour of selected edible insect species.
Source: Ramos-Elorduy [41].
Edible insect Taste and avour
Ants, termites Sweet, almost nutty
Larvae of darkling beetles Wholemeal bread
Larvae of wood-destroying beetles Fatty brisket with skin
Dragony larvae and other aquatic insects Fish
Cockroaches Mushrooms
Striped shield bugs Apples
Wasps Pine seeds
Caterpillars of smoky wainscots Raw corn
Mealybugs Fried potatoes
Eggs of water boatman Caviar
Caterpillars of erebid moths Herring
25L. Kouřimská, A. Adámková / NFS Journal 4 (2016) 2226
not assured edible insects may become dangerous from a microbiolog-
ical point of view [10,48].
6. Conclusion
Insects are a nutritionally interesting material, and may be included
among the common diet of consumers in EU countries in the future.
They could also be used as a nutritional supplement for special diets
for example for athletes. Inclusion of potentially suitable species of in-
sects into the normal diet requires dened and standardized conditions
of their rearing as well as the detailed monitoring of their composition
including biologically active substances. Though the EFSA has already
assessed hygienic and toxicological risks related to edible insects,
more research on their composition and nutrient prole should be
carried out in order to be able to fully implement edible insects as
food into the EU legislation documents.
Conicts of interest
None.
Acknowledgments
The authors are grateful to Dr. Stephen Sangwine for the nal lin-
guistic revision of the English text. This work was supported by S
grantof MSMT CR.
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26 L. Kouřimská, A. Adámková / NFS Journal 4 (2016) 2226
... Although the nutritional composition of insects varies considerably depending on species, stage of development, environmental conditions, and feed [7], they are generally considered an important source of high-quality protein, with a balanced amino acid content, essential fatty acids, microelements, and other bioactive compounds [8]. The nutritional compositions of some common edible insects are shown in Table 1. ...
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Due to the recent increase in the human population and the associated shortage of protein resources, it is necessary to find new, sustainable, and natural protein resources from invertebrates (such as insects) and underutilized plants. In most cases, compared to plants (e.g., grains and legumes) and animals (e.g., fish, beef, chicken, lamb, and pork), insect proteins are high in quality in terms of their nutritional value, total protein content, and essential amino acid composition. This review evaluates the recent state of insects as an alternative protein source from production to application; more specifically, it introduces in detail the latest advances in the protein extraction process. As an alternative source of protein in food formulations, the functional characteristics of edible insect protein are comprehensively presented, and the risk of allergy associated with insect protein is also discussed. The biological activity of protein hydrolyzates from different species of insects (Bombyx mori, Hermetia illucens, Acheta domesticus, Tenebrio molitor) are also reviewed, and the hydrolysates (bioactive peptides) are found to have either antihypertensive, antioxidant, antidiabetic, and antimicrobial activity. Finally, the use of edible insect protein in various food applications is presented.
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... A more detailed analysis of legal and scientific aspects related to insects as food, together with an insight on consumer perception can be found in Part II of this Volume.21 Kouřimská and Adámková (2016). ...
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... A more detailed analysis of legal and scientific aspects related to insects as food, together with an insight on consumer perception can be found in Part II of this Volume.21 Kouřimská and Adámková (2016). ...
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Contemporary society is faced with the question how to ensure suffiecient nutrition (quantity and quality) for rapidly growing population. One solution can be consumption of edible insect, which can have very good nutritional value (dietary energy, protein, fatty acids, fibers, dietary minerals and vitamins composition). Some edible insects species, which contains a relatively large amount of fat, can have a potential to be a „good" (interesting, new) source of minor lipophilic compounds such as sterols (cholesterol and phytosterols) and tocopherols in our diet. For this reason, the objective of this work was to characterize the sterols and tocopherols composition of fat from larvae of edible insect Zophobas morio L. and Tenebrio mollitor L. Cholesterol and three phytosterols (campesterol, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol) were reliably identified and quantified after hot saponification and derivatization by GC-MS. Other steroid compounds, including 5,6-trans-cholecalciferol were identified only according to the NIST library. Cholesterol was the predominant sterol in all analysed samples. Both types of larvae also contained high amount of phytosterols. Different region of origin had a no significant impact on sterols composition, while the effect of beetle genus was crucial. Tocopherols were analysed by reverse phase HPLC coupled with amperometric detection. Tocopherols content in mealworm larvae was lower than content in edible oils, but important from the nutritional point of view. Change of tocopherols composition was not observed during the storage under different conditions. Larvae of edible insect can be a potential good dietary source of cholesterol, but also vitamin D3 isomers, phytosterols and tocopherols.
Options available for utilization of animal wastes include sources of plant nutrients, feed ingredients for farm animals, substrate for methane generation, and substrate for microbial and insect protein synthesis. The wastes have the most economic value for use as animal feed. Performance of animals fed diets containing animal wastes is similar to that of animals fed conventional diets. Processing of animal wastes to be used as animal feed is necessary for destruction of pathogens, improvement of handling and storage characteristics, and maintenance or enhancement of palatability. Feeding of animal waste has not adversely affected the quality and taste of animal products. In the USA copper toxicity has been reported in sheep fed high-copper poultry litter, but this is not a serious problem with cattle. Potential pathogenic microorganisms in animal wastes are destroyed by processing such as heat treatment, ensiling and deep stacking. Incidents of botulism, caused by Clostridium botulinum, have been reported in cattle in some countries, and this problem was caused by the presence of poultry carcasses in litter. This problem has not occurred in the USA. With appropriate withdrawal, heavy metal, pesticide or medicinal drug accumulation in edible tissues of animals fed animal wastes is not a problem. Feeding of animal wastes is regulated by individual states in the USA. The practice is regulated in Canada, also. With good management, animal wastes can be used safely as animal feed.
Options available for utilization of animal wastes include sources of plant nutrients, feed ingredients for farm animals, substrate for methane generation, and substrate for microbial and insect protein synthesis. The wastes have the most economic value for use as animal feed. Performance of animals fed diets containing animal wastes is similar to that of animals fed conventional diets. Processing of animal wastes to be used as animal feed is necessary for destruction of pathogens, improvement of handling and storage characteristics, and maintenance or enhancement of palatability. Feeding of animal waste has not adversely affected the quality and taste of animal products. In the USA copper toxicity has been reported in sheep fed high-copper poultry litter, but this is not a serious problem with cattle. Potential pathogenic microorganisms in animal wastes are destroyed by processing such as heat treatment, ensiling and deep stacking. Incidents of botulism, caused by Clostridium botulinum, have been reported in cattle in some countries, and this problem was caused by the presence of poultry carcasses in litter. This problem has not occurred in the USA. With appropriate withdrawal, heavy metal, pesticide or medicinal drug accumulation in edible tissues of animals fed animal wastes is not a problem. Feeding of animal wastes is regulated by individual states in the USA. The practice is regulated in Canada, also. With good management, animal wastes can be used safely as animal feed.