Assessment of Quality and Safety of Winged Termites (Macrotermes bellicosus) Enriched Locally Formulated Complementary Foods

  •  Oladejo Adepoju    
  •  Kayode Ajayi    


Addition of edible insects to local staples used as complementary foods can improve their nutrient content. Nutritional quality and safety of Macrotermes bellicosus enriched boiled rice (BR) and yam (BY) complementary foods (CFs) was assessed using rats. Macrotermes bellicosus (MB) were collected, dried, and refrigerated at -4oC. Ground MB was added to BR and BY in ratios 10.0%, 15.0%, 20.0% (w/w) to give BR1, BY1; BR2, BY2, and BR3, BY3 respectively. Nutrient content of MB, BY, BR and MB-enriched CFs were determined by AOAC methods. Nutrient bioavailability and safety of BR3 and BY3 were assessed using rats fed ad libitum for 28 days. Serum trace minerals in the CFs, control and basal diets and histopathological effects of CFs on rats’ organs were determined. Data were analysed using ANOVA at p<0.05. Dried MB contained 31.8g protein, 16.4g fat, 3.8g ash, 227.5mg calcium, 2.1mg iron, 15.0mg zinc, 330.4μg retinol equivalent (RE), and 529.0kcal energy/100g sample. The BR and BY contained 3.7-5.9g protein, 70.0-120mg calcium,4.2-5.6mg iron, 1.2-1.5mg zinc and 380- 386kcal/100g compared with 7.9-15.3g protein, 242.2-264mg calcium, 2.4-4.4mg iron, 15.1-19.8mg zinc and 357-372kcal/100g enriched CFs (p<0.05). Rats Serum trace minerals ranged between 3.4- 4.3mg zinc, 23.4-27.9mg calcium, 30.6-37.0mg iron; and 52.5-56.9μg RE, compared with control (3.2, 22.2, 34.1, 48.2) and basal (2.2, 21.1, 24.0 mg, 32.3 μg) diets respectively (p<0.05). No pathological lesions were observed in internal organs of rats on CF diets. Adding Macrotermes bellicosus to local complementary foods is safe and improved their nutritional quality, hence its use is recommended among mothers.

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