Mal J Nutr 22(1): 153 - 161, 2016

Assessment of Fatty Acid Profile, Protein, and Micronutrient Bioavailability of Winged Termites (Marcrotermes bellicosus) Using Albino Rats
Oladejo Thomas Adepoju

Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The need for alternative protein and essential micronutrients sources for adequate complementary foods is urgent. Dried Marcrotermes bellicosus was reported to be a good source of dietary protein, fat, and micronutrients. This study investigated the fatty acid profile, protein, and essential micronutrient bioavailability in M. bellicosus using albino rats. Methods: M. bellicosus was collected around the Alegongo area, Akobo, Ibadan, Nigeria during their swarming flights, roasted at 105 °C for fifteen min, dewinged, and winnowed. The roasted sample was analysed for proximate, minerals, and antinutrients using standard methods of the AOAC International. Fatty acid profile was determined using a gas-liquid chromatographic method, whilst protein and essential minerals bioavailability were determined using weanling albino rats. Results: Roasted M. bellicosus contained 31.8 g protein, 16.4 g fat, 1.3 g ash, 46.5 g carbohydrates, 361.13 mg potassium, 227.50 mg calcium, 361.30 mg phosphorus, 15.03 mg zinc, 52.30% linolenic acid, 24.91% linoleic acid, 5.97% oleic acid and yielded 460.8 kcal gross energy/100g sample. The mean weight gain in the experimental diet group (+23.17±6.71) was significantly higher than that of the control diet group (+16.83±6.71) and the basal diet group (-19.50±9.03). The basal diet group had the least value for all serum micronutrient levels whilst the experimental diet group had the highest. Conclusion: M. bellicosus protein supported rat growth at a 15% inclusion level. The calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin A in M. bellicosus were bioavailable in rats. M. Bellicosus could be a potential novel food for humans.

Antioxidant, cytokines, endotoxin, protein malnutrition, silymarin

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