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      Introducing rearing crickets (gryllids) at household levels: adoption, processing and nutritional values

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          Edible insects, particularly crickets, are becoming popular due to their nutritional value and efficiency in foodconversion. An increasing number of farmers in Kenya are seeking information on rearing crickets (Orthoptera:Gryllidae) for food and feed. The locals are gradually embracing Acheta domesticus and Gryllus bimiculatus as the species of choice. This paper discusses how cricket farming was introduced to farmers in Bondo and Kabondo in Kenya. The initial crickets were picked from their natural habitat and carefully selected for domestication. Theselected crickets were fed on vegetables and chicken mash and bulked in plastic cages. The insects were carefully nurtured to lay eggs and a large colony was formed for multiplication purposes. Upon maturity, proximate analysiswas done to determine their nutritional value. Some were processed into different dishes for human consumption. Products were subjected to microbial tests at the Kenya Bureau of Standards to verify safety for human consumption. Consumers were invited to taste the processed products. After 3 years into the project, about 50 farmers haveembraced cricket farming around the Lake Victoria region. A. domesticus proved easy for rearing at household levelconditions. Food nutrients identified on dry weight were: 47% protein, 10% carbohydrates, and 25% fat. Minerals included sodium (8,502 µg/g), copper (29.4 µg/g), calcium (3,147.7 µg/g), potassium (9,797.5 µg/g), iron (51.8 µg/g), phosphorus (331.3 µg/g), manganese (58.7 µg/g) and zinc (21.8 µg/g). Vitamins included vitamin A (retinol; 0.35 µg/g), vitamin B2 (riboflavin; 6.3 µg/g), vitamin B1 (thiamine; 15.2 µg/g), and vitamin E (331 µg/g). Children were particularly attracted to biscuits and the fried foods such as fritters, samosa and pancakes. Cricket farming can be embraced as a mini-livestock by farmers in varied agro-ecological conditions in the lake region in Kenya. However, increased consumption of crickets to ensure food security is yet to be observed.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Insects as food: why the western attitude is important.

           G DeFoliart (1998)
          The traditional use of insects as food continues to be widespread in tropical and subtropical countries and to provide significant nutritional, economic and ecological benefits for rural communities. Westerners should become more aware of the fact that their bias against insects as food has an adverse impact, resulting in a gradual reduction in the use of insects without replacement of lost nutrition and other benefits.
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            Nutrient composition of selected whole invertebrates

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              Is Open Access

              Crickets Are Not a Free Lunch: Protein Capture from Scalable Organic Side-Streams via High-Density Populations of Acheta domesticus

              It has been suggested that the ecological impact of crickets as a source of dietary protein is less than conventional forms of livestock due to their comparatively efficient feed conversion and ability to consume organic side-streams. This study measured the biomass output and feed conversion ratios of house crickets (Acheta domesticus) reared on diets that varied in quality, ranging from grain-based to highly cellulosic diets. The measurements were made at a much greater population scale and density than any previously reported in the scientific literature. The biomass accumulation was strongly influenced by the quality of the diet (p 99% mortality without reaching a harvestable size. Therefore, the potential for A. domesticus to sustainably supplement the global protein supply, beyond what is currently produced via grain-fed chickens, will depend on capturing regionally scalable organic side-streams of relatively high-quality that are not currently being used for livestock production.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Insects as Food and Feed
                Wageningen Academic Publishers
                15 June 2016
                : 2
                : 3
                : 203-211
                [ 1 ] Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, School of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Bondo-Usenge Road, 210-40601 Bondo, Kenya.
                Author notes
                © 2016 Wageningen Academic Publishers
                RESEARCH ARTICLE


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