Processed products of termites and lake flies: improving entomophagy for food security within the lake victoria region
AbstractAmong the factors contributing to food shortage in Africa are lack of appropriate preservation and storage facilities, tropical heat and poor road network for marketing produce. High food spoilage caused by high temperatures of the tropical areas necessitates storage for all householders. Marginal areas of Lake Victoria often suffer protein deficiency due to dependence on narrow base sources of protein, most of which get spoilt during storage. The lake region is endowed with plenty of edible insects. Edible insects can provide partial solution to food insecurity. The aim of this project was to promote entomophagy for food security by adding value to termites and lake flies, enhancing taste and preference of edible insects, and improving shelf life of edible insect products in marginal areas with food insecurity. Two specific objectives examined were to add value by processing termites and lake flies into readily acceptable consumer products; and to test acceptability of processed products of termites and lake flies across different audiences. Samples of termites and lake flies were collected and processed in the laboratory under different types of cooking methods such as baking, boiling and steam cooking under pressure. The processed products included crackers, muffins, sausages and meat loaf. The products were tested among convenient sampled respondents. Processing the products added value based on organoleptic tests and minimized the fear of eating insects among many people. Not only marginal areas with limited protein foods but all areas with these insects can improve their food situation by value adding to these available resources. Mostly, people are familiar with these insects, therefore, the processed products of lake flies and termites were readily accepted, which could make their commercialization easier.
It was concluded that processing edible insects into conventional consumer products encourages entomophagy and has potential for income generation and food security within the lake region.
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