Global demand for high-quality animal protein is expected to increase astronomically by 57 % come 2050 and meeting this demand will be quite challenging. However, insect as food is a safe alternative considering the fact that most insects have dietary quality. This is due to their rich protein content which is comparable with conventional animal sources of protein. In Nigeria, the pest Analeptes trifasciata is one of the edible insects, which is consumed among others such as grasshoppers, locusts, termites, palm weevils and crickets in most rural communities. The nutritive composition of adult male and female cashew stem girdler beetles (A. trifasciata) were analysed by proximate analysis to determine the crude protein, crude fibre, ash content, ether extract, dry matter and moisture content. Also minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, cadmium, zinc and manganese and vitamin (A, B, C, D, E and K) contents were analysed using standard methods. Student t-test was used for the statistical analysis. The crude protein (39.63 ± 0.04 %), crude fibre (0.43 ± 0.01 %) and water content (53.03 ± 0.01 %) of males were significantly higher than that of females. Females recorded higher values of dry matter compared to males. Males recorded significantly higher vitamin content than females, for vitamin B1 (0.216 ± 0.001 mg/100 g), vitamin B2 (0.058 ± 0.001 mg/100 g), vitamin B12 (1.37 ± 0.01 mg/100 g) and vitamin C (0.89 ± 0.01 mg/100 g). Females recorded significantly higher (P < 0.05) contents of vitamins A (725.3 ± 0.12 µg/100 g), D (189.5 ± 0.12 mg/100 g), E (266.7 ± 0.12 mg/100 g) and K (31.8 ± 0.12 mg/100 g). Females had higher mineral contents of Ca2+, Na+, P+, Fe2+ and Mn–. The results show that A. trifasciata has high protein content making the beetle a cheap and excellent source of protein. The micronutrients are in favourable proportions and the beetle can be explored as a strategy for tackling nutritional deficiencies.
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Vol. 29 • No. 1