Nutrient Composition of the Termite Macrotermes Falciger,Collected from Lusaka district,A potential agent against Mulnitrition

Thumbnail Image
Chulu, Martha Chibale
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
Introduction Roasted winged termites (Macrotermes falciger) are a highly relished insect, which are common in Zambia during the rainy season. The edible termites are de-winged, roasted and salted for use as a snack, either alone, or in combination with other foods. The main objective of the study was to evaluate the nutritional components of the termites (M.Falciger ) with a view to revealing any possibility of its use as a possible complementary feed for combating malnutrition. Methodology An Analytical Laboratory experiment was conducted. Minimum Size of Lab Sample of 2kg of dry roasted termites was collected from Lusaka during the rainy season and used for proximate, mineral, vitamin and fatty acid composition. The termite (Macrotermes falciger) samples were analyzed according to official methods of analysis recommended by the Association of Official and Analytical Chemist (AOAC). Results Roasted Macrotermes falciger contained moisture(6.0 %±0.02), crude protein, (23.1%±0.00), crudefat(46.5%±0.01),Energy(591kcal/100g),Calcium(81±0.03mg/100g) zinc(5.3mg/100g), magnesium(132mg/100g), manganese(147.5,±0.01 mg/100g), selenium(22.2mg/100g), phosphorous (81mg/100g) .The total fatty acid content was 45.3g/100g The high fat content of the termite was made up mainly of unsaturated fatty acids (60.3%) .These values suggest that the winged termite, Macrotermis falciger has nutritional and pharmaceutical potential. Conclusions Macrotermes falciger is a highly nutritious food that can serve as a good source of protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fatty Acids that may be necessary for combating protein energy related malnutrition prevalent in Zambia. There is need for manufacture of complementary foods with components of termites as they are good sources of nutrients.
Pharmacology--Study and teaching--Zambia , Termites , Malnutrition