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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2006 May-Jun;57(3-4):198-203.

Entomophagy among the Luo of Kenya: a potential mineral source?

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Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Primary objective To determine the iron, zinc, and calcium content in different insects commonly eaten among the Luo of Kenya. Research design A cross-sectional design was chosen for the study in order to determine the insects eaten and their mineral content during a specific season.Methods and procedures Five different insect species were identified and collected with the help of local informants in the Nyang'oma sublocation of the Bondo district in western Kenya, and were analysed for iron, zinc and calcium contents. Main outcomes and results The iron content ranged from 18 to 1562 mg/100 g dry matter, the zinc content from 8 to 25 mg/100 g, and the calcium content from 33 to 341 mg/100 g in five different insects, onyoso mammon (ant), oyala (termite), ogawo (termite), agaor (termite), onjiri mammon (cricket). Conclusions Insect eating could prove to be a valuable measure to combat, especially, iron and zinc deficiency in developing countries.

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