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Edible caterpillars of Imbrasia truncata and Imbrasia epimethea contain lipids and proteins of high potential for nutrition

Fogang Mba, Aymar Rodrigue, Kansci, Germain, Viau, Michèle, Rougerie, Rodolphe, Genot, Claude
Subtropical plant science 2019 v.79 pp. 70-79
Food and Agriculture Organization, Imbrasia, World Health Organization, alpha-linolenic acid, alpha-tocopherol, amino acids, arachidonic acid, dietary protein, gamma-tocopherol, glycolipids, insect larvae, insects, isomers, lipid content, nitrogen, nutrient content, phospholipids, proteins
Imbrasia truncata and I. epimethea caterpillars were evaluated as dietary protein and lipid sources. They contained approximately 7.0 g/100 g fresh weight (FW) of lipids and 20.0 g/100 g FW of proteins calculed with determined nitrogen to protein conversion factors: 6.01 ± 0.21 and 6.27 ± 0.15 for I. truncata and I. epimethea, respectively. Unsaturated fatty acids represented about 2.63 ± 0.21 g/100 g FW for I. truncata and 3.24 ± 0.21 g/100 g FW for I. epimethea, with α-linolenic acid as major fatty acid (around 1.88 ± 0.15 g/100 g FW for I. truncata 2.17 ± 0.13 g/100 g FW for I. epimethea) and very low n-6/n-3 ratios: 0.15 (I. truncata) and 0.27 (I. epimethea). Polar lipids (phospholipids and glycolipids + sulfolipids), representing between 4 and 6% of lipids, contained little amounts of arachidonic acid (C20:4n-6). The major tocopherol isomer was α−tocopherol in I. truncata (0.52 ± 0.08 g/100 g FW) and γ−tocopherol in I. epimethea (1.00 ± 0.08 g/100 g FW). The proteins of both insect included all indispensable amino acids at amounts (mg/g protein) higher than the indispensable amino acid requirement patterns recommended by WHO/FAO/UNU (2007). In conclusion, Imbrasia caterpillars exhibit a great nutritional potential due to the presence of good quality proteins and healthy fat