Nutritinal Value of Insects
Nutritional value of insects
Insects provide as much protein as lean beef. Although their amino acid content is not as well balanced for human nutrition which is corrected by plant proteins. Insects are also a good source of minerals and some vitamins,especially for people who have limited access to other animal proteins.
Insects are very high in crude protein,many species ranging above 60% as to protein quality, it is well documented that the house cricket when fed to weaning rats, was superior to soy protein as a soucre of amino acids at all levels of intake.
Of 94 insects analysed in a study recently,50% had a higher caloric value than soybeans: 87% were corn:63% were higher than beef: 70% were higher than fish,lentils and beans. 95% were higher than wheat,rye and teosintile: The five highest lepidoptera(cattapilars) of 16 species examined averaged 6594 perkg the five highest coleoptera(beetle grubs)of 17 species similar to those of poultry and fish,had a high degree of unsaturation, of the fatty groups being rather higher in linoleic acid and/or linolenic acids,which are essential fatty acids.
Satumimiidae was found to be a rich source of iron, zinc, thiamin(vitamin B and riboflavin B 2). Winged adults of Macrotermes subhylinus are high in magnesium and copper, and the weevil larva contains thiamin,riboflavin and zinc.
In general, insect proteins tends to be low in the amino acids, methionine/cysteine :but it is high in lysine and threonine.
Insects vary widely in fat(and,thus, energy) content. Isoptera(termites) and lepidoptera(caterpilars) rank among the highest in fat.
Chitin comprised approximately 10% of the whole dried insects. It is a carbohydrate polymer found in invertebrate exoskeletons,protozoa,fungi and algae, and is being called the ploymer of the future because of its abundance,toughness and biodegadability.
Chitin from shells of lobsters, crabs and crayfish has been approved for use in cereals as a source of fibre and calcium in japanese
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