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Determination of fatty acid content in some edible insects of Mexico

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In the present paper we have determined the fatty acid content of some edible insects of Mexico. A comparative analysis of the insect species studied in this research showed that caproic acid was present in a minimal proportion which ranged between 0.01 for Periplaneta americana (nymphs) and 0.06 (g/100 g, dry basis) for Euschistus strenuus. The highest proportion of caprilic acid (0.09) was found in Tenebrio molitor (adults). Atta sp. had the highest amount of capric acid (0.26). Polistes sp. was found to be rich in lauric acid (0.77) and for myristic acid it had the highest content (5.64). Dactylopius sp. and E. strenuus were rich in palmitic acid (14.89). Euschistus taxcoensis had the highest quantity of palmitoleic acid (12.06). Llaveia axin exhibited the highest quantity of stearic acid (22.75). Polistes sp. was found to be rich in oleic acid (38.28). The highest quantity of linoleic acid was observed in T. molitor (larvae) (10.89), and in L. axin the highest content of linolenic acid (7.82) was obtained. A comparison between the species under the present investigation revealed that, in general, the insects are poor in caproic, caprilic, capric, lauric, myristic, palmitoleic and linolenic acids, because the quantities were either minimal or could not be detected at all. They had moderate quantities of stearic, palmitic and linoleic acids and had high quantities of oleic acid. Finally it was concluded that although a particular insect species is unable to fulfil the total fatty acid need for a human, if consumed in combination they could definitely be able to supply a good amount of this highly valued nutrient.
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Keywords: Mexico; anthropoentomophagy; edible insects; fatty acids

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 1Laboratorio de Entomología, Departamento de Zoología, Instituto de Biología UNAM, Tercer Circuito Externo, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Mexico, Mexico; 2: 2Department of Zoology, A.M. College, Ranchi Road (SH4A), Jhalda 723202, Purulia, India;

Publication date: March 19, 2016

More about this publication?
  • The ‘Journal of Insects as Food and Feed' covers edible insects from harvesting in the wild through to industrial scale production. It publishes contributions to understanding the ecology and biology of edible insects and the factors that determine their abundance, the importance of food insects in people's livelihoods, the value of ethno-entomological knowledge, and the role of technology transfer to assist people to utilise traditional knowledge to improve the value of insect foods in their lives. The journal aims to cover the whole chain of insect collecting or rearing to marketing edible insect products, including the development of sustainable technology, such as automation processes at affordable costs, detection, identification and mitigating of microbial contaminants, development of protocols for quality control, processing methodologies and how they affect digestibility and nutritional composition of insects, and the potential of insects to transform low value organic wastes into high protein products. At the end of the edible insect food or feed chain, marketing issues, consumer acceptance, regulation and legislation pose new research challenges. Food safety and legislation are intimately related. Consumer attitude is strongly dependent on the perceived safety. Microbial safety, toxicity due to chemical contaminants, and allergies are important issues in safety of insects as food and feed. Innovative contributions that address the multitude of aspects relevant for the utilisation of insects in increasing food and feed quality, safety and security are welcomed.
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