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Current Trends in Microbiology   Volumes    Volume 6 
Microbiological and nutritional status of an edible caterpillar (Rhynchophorus phoenicis)
W. Braide, R. N. Nwaoguikpe
Pages: 61 - 68
Number of pages: 8
Current Trends in Microbiology
Volume 6 

Copyright © 2010 Research Trends. All rights reserved

Global demand for food security and safety coupled with increased cases of malnutrition resulting from inadequate and high cost of protein diets, especially in Africa and the developing countries necessitated the consumption of insects as a new food alternative that enriches the basic diet of man. Investigation into the microbiological quality of processed Rhynchophorus species revealed the presence of bacteria and fungi. Total bacterial and fungal counts were 1.08 × 105 Cfu/g and 9.2 × 102 Cfu/g respectively. Bacterial isolates identified include, Lactobacillus plantarum, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus vulgaris, while the fungal species include, Cladosporum sp, Penicillium verrecosum, Aspergilus flavus and Fusarum poae and one species of yeast. Pseudomonas aeruginosa contaminates food with high water activity and produce enzymes such as protease and lipase that catalyse reaction causing degradation of proteins and fats resulting to undesirable flavour and taste.of foods. Bacillus subtilis, an endospore former predominates in soils and cause spoilage of starchy foods. Staphylococcus aureus produce heat stable enterotoxins which cause staphylococcal food intoxication. Proteus vulgaris and Lactobacillus plantarum contaminate foods with high protein content. Fusarium poae, Aspergillus flavus and Penicillium verrecosum produce potent mycotoxins in stored products. Cladosporum sp contaminate foods and grow rapidly. Rhynchophorus sp is rich in protein (71.63%), indicating high nutritional quality. The crude fibre (1.59%) and ash (11.97%) are high and could aid bowel movement and increase mineral contents respectively in the human body. High moisture (12.14%) and protein contents could encourage spoilage by proteophilic and hydrophilic bacteria and fungi. Poor sanitation and inadequate storage and marketing conditions may contribute to the contamination and re-contamination of the products. Intensive education on pre and post-harvest activities, including proper disposal of intestinal contents, preservation with spices and the application of atmospheric packaging system would reduce contaminants.
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