By Ekpo K. E
Proximate and chemical analyses were carried out on the larva of Rhynchophorus phoenicis (F) and the observed results used to assess it nutritionally. A high fat content (25.30±0.20% wet weight) rich in the essential fatty acids were observed, while all the essential amino acids were detected in varying amounts in the protein component. Macro-elements like sodium (773.49±1.02 mg/100g), calcium (60.81±0.32 mg/100g) and potassium (26.65±0.24 mg/100g) as well as micro-elements like copper (1.26±0.04 mg/100g), cadmium (0.039±0.022 mg/100g) and zinc (10.57±0.89 mg/100g) were present in significant amounts in the insect larva. The insect contained phytic acid (1.35 ± 0.21 mg/100g) and tannin (1.04±0.79) as the major antinutrients, but the values were rather low and could not be considered toxic. The results of the functional properties such as water absorption capacity (127.33±0.20), oil absorption capacity (102.00±0.68), emulsion activity (44.71±0.69), emulsion capacity (45.05±0.60), emulsion stability (43.88±0.67) and foaming capacity (10.60±0.27) show that the insect larva could form a base for new food/feed products of considerable nutritive value, especially if some level of defatting is done to further increase the relative proportion of the protein component.
Key Words : Rhynchophorus phoenicis, Nutrient Composition, Functional Properties.
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