Evaluating the Potential of Edible Insects (Palm Weevil- Rhynchophorus Phoenicis Larvae) as an Alternative Protein Source for Humans

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C. C. Atuahene M. B. Adjei M. A. Adu B. Quaye M. B. Opare R. Benney


Using 24 adults of Rhynchophorus Phoenicis (12 males and 12 females), a four-week experiment was conducted to determine an alternative substrate in raising the larvae as a protein source for humans and the microbial content associated with the production of the larvae. Three treatments were used; Oil Palm Yolk (OPY), Raffia Palm Yolk (RPY) and Sugarcane Substrate (SCS). The palm substrates were harvested and soaked for 3 days for preservative purposes. Five (5) kg each of OPY, RPY and sugar cane (SC) were replicated four times in plastic baskets using a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The proximate composition of the OPY and RPY substrates were as follows: values for moisture content showed 60.4% for OPY and 61.7% for RPY, crude protein content of RPY (3.5%) and OPY (3.2%), crude fibre content of OPY was 31.1% compared with RPY (29.4%) and ether extract content of 1.2% and 1.6% were recorded for RPY and OPY respectively. The Ash, NDF and ADF values for OPY were 1.6%, 2.4% and 77.5% and that of RPY were 76.4%, 50.2% and 50.1% respectively. Adults placed on all treatments of SCS could not survive making that treatment unsuccessful. All parameters measured for RPS were significantly (P<0.05) higher compared with the OPS except for mortality rate which was statistically (P>0.05) similar. Higher microbial range of 3.4x107 was recorded for OPY which was higher than the acceptable range of 5x106 by the Food Administration Manual. Microbial content detected at the end of the experiment on isolated larvae from RPY and OPY treatments were 9.1x105 and 4.9x105 respectively, which was below the standard range making it acceptable for consumption. It was concluded that RPS was a better substrate for Rhynchophorus phoenicis larvae production since it produced a higher larvae number and also larvae with higher weights.

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ATUAHENE, C. C. et al. Evaluating the Potential of Edible Insects (Palm Weevil- Rhynchophorus Phoenicis Larvae) as an Alternative Protein Source for Humans. Journal of Animal Science Advances, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 3, p. 1897-1901, mar. 2017. ISSN 2251-7219. Available at: <http://grjournals.com/index.php/JASA/article/view/402>. Date accessed: 23 oct. 2017.
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