Among the factors contributing to food shortage in Africa are lack of appropriate preservation and storage facilities, tropical heat and poor road network for marketing produce. High food spoilage caused by high temperatures of the tropical areas necessitates storage for all householders. Marginal areas of Lake Victoria often suffer protein deficiency due to dependence on narrow base sources of protein, most of which get spoilt during storage. The lake region is endowed with plenty of edible insects. Edible insects can provide partial solution to food insecurity. The aim of this project was to promote entomophagy for food security by adding value to termites and lake flies, enhancing taste and preference of edible insects, and improving shelf life of edible insect products in marginal areas with food insecurity. Two specific objectives examined were to add value by processing termites and lake flies into readily acceptable consumer products; and to test acceptability of processed products of termites and lake flies across different audiences. Samples of termites and lake flies were collected and processed in the laboratory under different types of cooking methods such as baking, boiling and steam cooking under pressure. The processed products included crackers, muffins, sausages and meat loaf. The products were tested among convenient sampled respondents. Processing the products added value based on organoleptic tests and minimized the fear of eating insects among many people. Not only marginal areas with limited protein foods but all areas with these insects can improve their food situation by value adding to these available resources. Mostly, people are familiar with these insects, therefore, the processed products of lake flies and termites were readily accepted, which could make their commercialization easier. It was concluded that processing edible insects into conventional consumer products encourages entomophagy and has potential for income generation and food security within the lake region.
Insects such as the black soldier fly (BSF; Hermetia illucens) are currently being promoted as an alternative protein source for animals and organic waste management agents. To play the dual roles sustainably, there is need to reduce reliance on wild BSF and develop an appropriate farming methodology for the insect. This study aimed at improving larvae production in a black soldier fly colony previously established from the wild in Kenya. The study explored the effect of four locally available organic wastes as feedstocks for production the black soldier fly larvae. Separate feeding trials on faecal sludge (FS), banana peelings (BP), brewer’s waste (BW) and restaurant food waste (FR) was done and their effect on BSF larvae growth rate, larvae weight, total prepupal yield in grams, crude protein and lipid (ether extract) content analysed. The efficiency of the BSF larvae to consume and therefore reduce the waste load of the different substrates was also evaluated. Results showed that BSF larvae fed on FR had significantly higher (P<0.05) total mean yield and average individual weight of 196.9±4.0 g and 0.101±0.002 g, respectively, followed by BW (154.8±6.5 g, 0.078±0.02 g), FS (138.7±5.0 g, 0.070±0.001 g) and with BP the lowest (108.9±5.6 g, 0.055±0.002 g). The harvested BSF larvae crude protein was significantly higher for FS and BW at 45.4±0.1% and 43.0±1.0%, respectively. However, ether extract content was variable and dependent on feedstock used with lower values reported for FS and BW (18.1±0.3% and 27.2%, respectively), and highest for food remains prepupa (36%). Dry matter reduction ranged between 50.3-81.8% with corresponding bioconversion and feed conversion rates ranging from 14.9-20.8% and 2.6-4.5, respectively, was achieved for the substrates used. These results indicated the potential of utilising BSF composting in valorisation of the local organic wastes for their bioremediation from the environment. Due to their availability in large quantities and their low cost, these organic wastes can form important feedstock resources for the sustainable production of BSF larvae as a future alternative protein source for both animal feeds at farm level and industrial scale. In conclusion, embracing nutrient recycling through BSF technology by resource-constrained farmers in Kenya will contribute to food security through supply of proteins for production of poultry and fish.
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.
The utilisation of insect as ingredients for animal feeds has gained considerable interest recently. For example, the potential of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens; BSF) larvae as a cheap alternative protein source for animal feeds seems to show promising perspectives, especially for poultry and aquaculture feeds. In the present study, we sought to establish the wild availability of BSF in Bondo area of Western Kenya, and to develop appropriate methods for larvae farming for utilisation in smallholder farming systems using organic waste substrates. Using an open system involving a larvae feeding structure, study results showed that BSF is native to the study area with higher production observed on substrates of plant origin compared to those of animal origin. Proximate, mineral and vitamin analysis showed that wild BSF larvae contained: 40% crude protein, 33% crude fat, 15% ash, 12% crude fibre, 0.56% manganese, 3.07% sodium, 0.57% iron, 2.27% potassium, 0.24 mg/100 g thiamin, 2.2 mg/100 g riboflavin and 1.3 mg/100 g vitamin E. This nutritional profile of the wild BSF larvae indicates its potential to serve as a cheap and sustainable substitute protein source. We therefore recommend small-scale poultry and fish farmers to adopt the identified methods for its cultivation as a way of lowering production costs and also contributing to environmental hygiene and sanitation.
Children in Kenya are at risk of undernutrition. Milk powder is the ‘golden standard’ in products to prevent undernutrition but is expensive and cannot be produced locally. House crickets (Acheta domesticus) are rich in nutrients important for growth and development. The cricket biscuit contains protein, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A and B12, iron, and zinc. Furthermore, cricket powder can be an economically better substitute for milk powder and can create revenue for the local population. Including crickets in products for school feeding could optimise growth and learning. The objective of the study was to develop a recipe for cricket biscuits suitable for school feeding programmes and test acceptability of the biscuits in Kenyan schoolchildren, in comparison with a similar biscuit with milk. The study was randomised and parallel. Fifty-four children aged 5-10 years were served 100 g (range 98-102 g) biscuits containing either 10% cricket powder or 10% milk powder during school days for four weeks. At baseline anthropometry (weight, height, mid upper arm circumference) was measured and information on insect consumption and allergies collected. Daily, weight of biscuits eaten and hesitation and refusal to eat were noted. Weekly, hedonic ratings were performed. Consumption was 96.9% and 94.2% for cricket and milk biscuits (P=0.14), respectively. Hedonic ratings were significantly lower in cricket biscuits for looks (P=0.006), smell (P=0.04), texture (P=0.02), and overall (P=0.01) compared to milk biscuits, but all ratings were above average (2.5). The biscuits contribute with macro- and micronutrients important for a child in Western Kenya. The acceptability of the cricket biscuits was high and long-term based on set criteria (>75% eaten >75% of the study days). Organoleptic properties were rated above average for cricket biscuits but lower than milk biscuits in most aspects.
A new native edible cricket species, Scapsipedus icipe Hugel and Tanga, has been described in Kenya for the first time. However, there is lack of information on suitable diets and their effects on the developmental time, survival, weight gain, body length, growth index, preoviposition, oviposition, postoviposition, fecundity, egg eclosion period, adult emergence, and longevity of this species, which are prerequisite for large-scale production. In this study, six diets (wheat bran, soybean, fish offal, pumpkin leaf, carrot, and maize meals) selected to vary in protein, carbohydrate, and fat content were evaluated. The developmental time and survival rate of the different life stages varied considerably on the various diets, with the shortest development and highest survival rate recorded when fed wheat bran diet. Preoviposition duration was significantly longer on maize and carrot diets (>10 d) compared with that recorded on the other diets (<8 d). Body weight and body length were significantly influenced by t different diets tested. Females of S. icipe fed on proteinrich diets (fish offal, soybean, and wheat bran) had significantly higher lifetime fecundity and fertility. Female-biased sex ratio was recorded on wheat bran and soybean diets, whereas male-biased sex ratio was recorded on maize and carrot diets. Our findings reveal that the impact of diet quality on the biological fitness parameters of S. icipe and the implication of the results are discussed in light of effective mass rearing of this species.
The dual roles of efficient degradation and bioconversion of a wide range of organic wastes into valuable animal protein and organic fertiliser, has led to increased interest in black soldier fly (BSF) technology as a highly promising tool for sustainable waste management and alternative protein production. The current study investigated the potential application of BSF technology in the valorisation of faecal sludge (FS), a common organic waste in the urban informal settlements in low and middle-income countries. We evaluated the effect of different feeding rates (100, 150, 200 and 250 mg/larva/day), different feeding regimen and supplementation with other waste feedstock (food remains, FR; brewers waste, BW; and banana peelings, BP) on BSF larvae (BSFL) growth rates/yield and FS reduction efficiency. Results showed significantly (P<0.01) higher prepupal yield (179±3.3 and 190±1.2 g) and shorter larval development time (16.7 and 15 days) when reared on 200 and 250 mg/larva/day FS, respectively. However, different feeding regimes of FS did not significantly affect larval growth rate and prepupal yield (P=0.56). Supplementation of FS with other organic substrates resulted in significantly increased BSFL biomass production and substrate reduction, and shortened larval development time; with the effect was more pronounced when FS was supplemented with FR and at 30% supplementation. Protein:fat ratios for BSFL reared on FS, FS:FR, FS:BW were significantly (P<0.05) higher (2.51, 2.53, and 2.44, respectively) compared to FS:BP mixture (1.99). These results demonstrated that supplementation of FS with locally available organic waste can be used to improve its suitability as feedstock for BSF production and organic waste bioremediation from the environment. In conclusion, a daily feeding strategy of substrate containing FS supplemented with 30% organic waste co-substrate at feeding rate of 200 mg/larva/day can be used as a guideline for BSFL mass production and bioremediation of FS both at small- and large-scale level.
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