The nutritional value of fourteen species of edible insects in southwestern Nigeria
Seventeen species of edible insects representing nine families from south western Nigeria were analyzed for nutrient composition. They include the orders of Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Isoptera. Analeptes trifasciata, Rhynchophorus phoenicis and Zonocerus variegatus has the highest crude protein content (29.62, 28.42 and 26.8%, respectively). The Ether Extract content ranged from 1.50 to 31.40%, and the highest amount was found in R. phoenicis (31.4%), Macrotermes bellicosus (28.2%) and Macrotermes notalensis (22.5%). The nitrogen free extract content ranged from 38.5 to 85.3%, with highest values in Brachytrypes spp. and Oryctes boas. The insect richest in Vitamin A, B2 and C was Apis mellifera (12.44 ug/100 g, 3.24 mg/100g and 10.25 mg/100 g, respectively). Highest calcium and phosphorus contents of 61.28 mg/100g and 136.4 mg/100g were found in Analeptes trifasciata. Iron was found highest in M.notalensi and magnesium in Zonocerus variegatus. These insects which are sources of delicacy are also pests of certain crops at developmental stages of their life. Despite this they constitute a significant component of diet among the people of south western Nigeria.
Keywords: Nutrition, insects, Nigeria