Edible stink bugs to improve nutritional uptake

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Government of B.C.


Stink bug could boost health and nutrition in Africa

Our policy recommendation is that carbohydrate-based diets such as cereals and cassava can be fortified with powdered, processed edible stink bugs to improve their nutritional uptake.” Baldwyn Torto, icipe

Brown marmorated stink bug – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Halyomorpha_halys_lab.jpg

Speed read

  • Researchers assessed chemical components of an edible insect
  • They identified 12 amino acids, four flavonoids and ten essential fatty acids
  • Experts say identifying edible insects could boost health and food security

A new study has identified essential nutrients in an edible insect known as stink bug and suggests it as an alternative food source to help meet the dietary demands of an increasing human population.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), producing 70 per cent more food could help satisfy the estimated 9 billion human population by 2050

Edible insects could contribute to the world’s food security, says Baldwyn Torto, a scientist at the Kenya-based International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) and a corresponding author of the study.

Torto adds that most communities do not know which edible insects are truly nutritional and have beneficial effects on human health.

“This is what inspired our research to contribute to food security and income generation among the communities … across the African continent. Some of the traditional foods including insects consumed such as the edible stink bug are highly nutritious and beneficial to human health and should be promoted into mainstream diets,” Torto tellsSciDev.Net.

The study, published in the PloS ONE journal on 5 January, resulted fromfunding from the German Academic Exchange Service to aid postdoctoral fellowships in African centres of excellence.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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