Process development, nutrition and sensory qualities of wheat buns enriched with edible termites (Macrotermes subhylanus) from Lake Victoria region, Kenya.

  • JN Kinyuru
  • GM Kenji
  • MS Njoroge
Keywords: Termites, Process development, Nutrition, Sensory


Edible insects are an important source of nutrients. Edible winged termites (Macrotermes subhylanus), locally known as agoro in Lake Victoria region of Kenya, is an integral part of the diet in that region depending on seasonal availability and are traditionally consumed as a snack: raw, fried or sun-dried. The nutritional and economic value of the insect is often neglected and this study was geared towards encouraging their collection, utilization and commercialization. The present study was, therefore, undertaken to develop a process of incorporating edible termites into baked food products and evaluate the product’s nutritional and sensory qualities. The study involved substitution of wheat flour with ground termite at proportions of 0%, 5%, 10% and 20% levels based on weight. Sensory attributes were evaluated using a mixed panel where half the panelists had a prior history of insect’s consumption. The sensory attributes were evaluated on a 7-point Hedonic scale. The results showed that there was no significant difference (p>0.05) in bun thickness (height) between the buns with 0% and 5% termite concentration. The scores for bun texture, aroma, taste and overall consumer preference were not significantly different (p≤0.05) at 0% and 5% substitution. Differences in size, aroma and taste scores for the 5% bun and the 10% substitution were non-significant. Scores obtained at 20% level of substitution depicted lesser acceptability in all the attributes tested except for aroma, which scored above 5.0. In terms of consumer general acceptability, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) between the control (0%) and 5% substitution with both scoring above 5.0 (like slightly). The 5% substitution showed a significant increase (p≤0.05) in protein, retinol, riboflavin, iron and zinc contents to the extents of between 16% and 53% increase. The wheat-termite buns at 5% substitution were well accepted by the consumers signifying the great potential for large-scale production and commercialization of the insects in an effort to ensuring food security in Africa.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358