Potential of Edible Insects to Combat Hidden Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa
Nils Nölle1, Alexandra Baisch1, Yisa Njowe Kieran Bong2, Elizabeth Kusia2, Subramanian Sevgan2, Hans Konrad Biesalski1
1University of Hohenheim, Inst. for Biological Chemistry and Nutrition / Food Security Center, Germany
Edible insects are gaining attention as an alternative food source to fish and livestock. However research has mainly focused on the protein content of edible insects, while their micronutrient content and thus their potential to combat hidden hunger, is far less studied. Therefore, edible insects, commonly consumed in Kenya and Uganda, two countries, which show a high risk to suffer from hidden hunger, were collected. Samples included long horned grasshoppers (Ruspolia differens), crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus), as well as several kinds of caterpillars (Gonimbrasia zambesina, Cirina forda). If available, samples were collected fresh and processed, e.g. boiled or fried, to account for possible losses during processing. Samples were analysed for selected (pro)vitamins (riboflavin, carotenoids) via HPLC and for dietary minerals (e.g. iron and zinc) measured either by ICP-MS or ICP-OES. To ensure consumer safety, levels of heavy metals were also analysed, using either ICP-MS or atomic absorption spectrometry.
Keywords: Alternative food sources, insects, malnturition, micronutrients, nutrition
Contact Address: Nils Nölle, University of Hohenheim, Inst. for Biological Chemistry and Nutrition / Food Security Center, Garbenstraße 30, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail: noelleuni-hohenheim.de