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See detailPerformances of local poultry breed fed black soldier fly larvae reared on horse manure
Moula, Nassim ULiege; Scippo, Marie-Louise ULiege; Douny, Caroline ULiege et al

in Animal Nutrition (in press)

In poultry, feed based on maggots, like larvae of Black Soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) is an attractive option to substitute current ingredients which are expensive and often in direct or indirect ... [more ▼]

In poultry, feed based on maggots, like larvae of Black Soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) is an attractive option to substitute current ingredients which are expensive and often in direct or indirect competition with human food. Little information is currently available on the utility of these larvae in poultry feed, so goals of this study were to determine whether larvae could be reared on horse manure under traditional farming conditions and to evaluate the growth performances of a local poultry fed these larvae and the fatty acids profiles of their meat. After freezing and thawing, larvae were introduced in the feed of Ardennaise chickens between 30 and 80 days of age. Birds in the control group received a commercial standard feed while those in the treatment group received the same commercial feed in which 8% was substituted with whole fresh larvae corresponding to 2% on a dry matter basis. Mean ± standard errors of larval length and weight were 20.67 ± 2.21 mm and 0.14 ± 0.02 g, respectively. Mean larval percentages of dry matter and of substances extractable in diethyl ether were 24.6% and 23.1%, respectively. Larval fatty acids profiles were predominantly composed of lauric (28.1%) and palmitic (22.0%) acids. Least squares means of weekly weights of chicken, adjusted for the effects of sex, replication and initial weights, were significantly higher (P < 0.05) by 77.03 ± 53.37 g in larvae-fed than in control chickens. All the other measurements were not statistically different between larvae-fed and control chicken, including fatty acid profiles, protein content and ω6/ω3 ratio. In conclusion, the use of black soldier fly larvae in the diet of local chicken breed may be an alternative to the use of soy. [less ▲]

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See detailInsects, the next European foodie craze?
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Haubruge, Eric ULiege; Francis, Frédéric ULiege

in Edible Insects in Sustainable Food Systems (in press)

Edible insects are systematically targeted as a major future food for European consumers but success in introducing entomophagy in Western society depends on factors governing consumers’ attitudes towards ... [more ▼]

Edible insects are systematically targeted as a major future food for European consumers but success in introducing entomophagy in Western society depends on factors governing consumers’ attitudes towards insect-based products. Effectively, as for sushi in the 2000s, edible insects are considered as new food products in Europe and are deeply related to a fear or a reject feeling by consumers called “food neophobia“. Consequently, several studies have been achieved to face the actual aversion of European consumers for insects. These studies principally tried to understand the insect-related neophobia, to highlight positive arguments for entomophagy development and also to test possible ways of integration of insects as food. The purpose of this chapter is to get an overview of the actual literature on edible insect acceptability in Europe to propose conceivable solutions for product development and new approaches for further studies. [less ▲]

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See detailInsect fatty acids: A comparison of lipids from three Orthopterans and Tenebrio molitor L. larvae
Paul, Aman ULiege; Frederich, Michel ULiege; Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege et al

in Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology (2017), 20(2), 337-340

In order to explore some potential insect sources of food lipids, the lipid compositions of three Orthopterans (Acheta domesticus, Conocephalus discolor and Chorthippus parallelus) were analyzed and ... [more ▼]

In order to explore some potential insect sources of food lipids, the lipid compositions of three Orthopterans (Acheta domesticus, Conocephalus discolor and Chorthippus parallelus) were analyzed and compared with those of Tenebrio molitor larvae. A. domesticus, Co. discolor, Ch. parallelus and T. molitor larvae were found to contain approximately 15%, 13%, 10% and 32% lipids on dry weight, respectively. The lipids from three Orthopterans contain much higher amounts of essential fatty acids than those of T. molitor larvae. The two Orthopterans of the suborder Ensifera i.e., A. domesticus and Co. discolor contain linoleic acid in major quantities, while Ch. parallelus of the suborder Caelifera, contain α-linolenic acid in major quantities. The consumption of linoleic and α-linolenic fatty acid is linked with numerous health promoting effects. The factors that contribute to differences in fatty acid profiles of these insects are being discussed. At last the nutritional parameters including polyunsaturated to saturated and omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratios of these insect lipids are also being discussed to understand the potential role of these lipids in human nutrition. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrobiological load of edible insects found in Belgium
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Desmedt, Sandrine; Blecker, Christophe ULiege et al

in Insects (2017)

Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are ... [more ▼]

Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are sourcing fresh insects from fishing stores or towards traditional markets to find exotic insects that are illegal and not sanitarily controlled. From this perspective, this study aims to characterize the microbial load of edible insects found in Belgium (i.e., fresh mealworms and house crickets from European farms and smoked termites and caterpillars from a traditional Congolese market) and to evaluate the efficiency of different processing methods (blanching for all species and freeze-drying and sterilization for European species) in reducing microorganism counts. All untreated insect samples had a total aerobic count higher than the limit for fresh minced meat (6.7 log cfu/g). Nevertheless, a species-dependent blanching step has led to a reduction of the total aerobic count under this limit, except for one caterpillar species. Freeze-drying and sterilization treatments on European species were also effective in reducing the total aerobic count. Yeast and mold counts for untreated insects were above the Good Manufacturing Practice limits for raw meat, but all treatments attained a reduction of these microorganisms under this limit. These results confirmed that fresh insects, but also smoked insects from non-European trades, need a cooking step (at least composed of a first blanching step) before consumption. Therefore, blanching timing for each studied insect species is proposed and discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailAre edible insects ready for the European market? First insights into insect quality as food ingredient for human consumption
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The growing environmental need to replace livestock-derivated proteins has driven the European feed and food markets toward innovative protein sources, among which are insects. Despite insects are ... [more ▼]

The growing environmental need to replace livestock-derivated proteins has driven the European feed and food markets toward innovative protein sources, among which are insects. Despite insects are considered as classical food products, and sometimes delicacies, in the tropics, European consumers see them as disgusting and inedible products or, at very least, as survival food only useful in the most desperate situations. To convince European consumers of the potential of edible insects, the entomophagy promoters must prove that edible insects could exhibit the same quality as any other foodstuffs found on the European market. However, food product quality is sophisticated and is a multidimensional concept. The most important facet of food quality is the hygienic quality of a product. It guarantees that the food product is safe for human consumption and it is an absolute safety requirement for any foodstuff. In addition to be safe for human consumption, a food product should provide nutrients and energy but also provide pleasure to consumers; these dimensions are respectively, the nutritive and hedonic qualities of food products. Next to these three essential aspects of quality, food products should also exhibit interesting functional (i.e. interest or advantages for consumer to use a product such as its shelf life, its ease-of-use or its availability) and psycho-social (i.e. motivations to consume or not a product) qualities to increase purchase intention. Following a review of the potentialities of entomophagy and the possible health hazard related to insect consumption, this thesis research aimed to explore the five aforementioned dimensions of edible insect quality and to understand how these new food products could meet the European standards of food quality in the next few years. Depending on the quality aspects explored, data from this thesis could be used as basic element to produce a legislative framework on edible insects or as potential solutions for processing and marketing healthy, safe and attractive edible insects. [less ▲]

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See detailSmall-scale production of crickets and impact on rural livelihoods
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Haubruge, Eric ULiege; Francis, Frédéric ULiege

in Insects as food and feed: From production to consumption (2017)

Small-scale production of edible insects could be a sustainable, cost-effective, and nutritious alternative to traditional livestock in poor rural areas. Among the diversity of edible insect species ... [more ▼]

Small-scale production of edible insects could be a sustainable, cost-effective, and nutritious alternative to traditional livestock in poor rural areas. Among the diversity of edible insect species, crickets are valuable candidates as they reproduce quickly in high numbers, require a reduced-size rearing space and could easily recycle agricultural or industrial by-products, while keeping high feed conversion ratio. This chapter will present an overview of four cricket species, Acheta domesticus, Gryllus bimaculatus, Teleogryllus testaceus, and Brachytrupes membranaceus reared at a small-scale level and will describe their corresponding rearing system. Strategies to promote and develop small-scale cricket farming in different countries will be presented throughout a state of play of the past and current projects. [less ▲]

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See detailCould new information influence attitudes to foods supplemented with edible insects?
Barsics, Fanny; Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Brostaux, Yves ULiege et al

in British Food Journal (2017)

Purpose: Broader acceptance of entomophagy (i.e. human consumption of insects) will depend on factors that impact consumers’ perceptions of edible insects. The purpose of this study was to examine how a ... [more ▼]

Purpose: Broader acceptance of entomophagy (i.e. human consumption of insects) will depend on factors that impact consumers’ perceptions of edible insects. The purpose of this study was to examine how a broad-based information session would affect consumers’ perceptions and attitudes about an edible insect product. Design: During a taste testing session, preceded or followed by an information session about entomophagy, participants rated the organoleptic characteristics of two bread samples on 9-point hedonic scales. The two bread samples were identical, though one was faux-labelled as containing an insect product. Findings: General Linear Model (GLM) analysis showed effects of gender, information session exposure, entomophagy familiarity, and entomophagy experience on participants’ ratings of the samples. Wilcoxon‑Mann-Whitney ranked sum tests showed that appearance, flavour, and overall liking were significantly better rated for the bread sample labelled as insect-free by participants who attended the presentation a priori. Potential ways to improve information content and delivery in favour of encouraging dietary shifts are discussed. Practical applications: This study shows that information about insect-based products could change consumers’ perceptions of such products. The results provide clues regarding how the food industry can adapt communication for target audiences. Originality: Actual edible insect products were not used in this study. Paradoxically, it is the first to show the impact of an information session on the acceptability of edible insect products, by revealing participants’ perceptual expectations. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Odor of Death: An Overview of Current Knowledge on Characterization and Applications
Verheggen, François ULiege; Perrault, Katelynn ULiege; Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege et al

in Bioscience (2017)

After death, the human body undergoes various processes that result in the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The interest in these VOCs has increased substantially in recent years because ... [more ▼]

After death, the human body undergoes various processes that result in the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The interest in these VOCs has increased substantially in recent years because they are key attractants for necrophagous insects and vertebrate scavengers. Identifying cadaveric VOCs has required the effective development of analytical tools for collecting, separating, identifying, and quantifying the suite of VOCs released throughout decomposition. Analytical developments for studying cadaveric VOCs in vertebrates, ecological interactions of cadaveric VOCs with the abiotic and biotic environment, and the necessity for convergence of these two areas for the progression of future knowledge are discussed herein. [less ▲]

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See detailNutritional Composition and Rearing Potential of the Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus Zetterstedt)
Paul, Aman ULiege; Frederich, Michel ULiege; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULiege et al

in Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology (2016), 19(4), 1111-1116

Insects, particularly those belonging to the family Acrididae (grasshoppers), are commonly consumed as human food in many parts of the world. Grasshoppers of the species Chorthippus parallelus are ... [more ▼]

Insects, particularly those belonging to the family Acrididae (grasshoppers), are commonly consumed as human food in many parts of the world. Grasshoppers of the species Chorthippus parallelus are abundantly found throughout Europe. However, these insects were not consumed by Europeans till now, but could possibly be used as human food, which is why we investigated their chemical composition. We found that they contain high level of proteins (69%), with an excellent amino acid profile and protein digestibility (97%). Furthermore, specimens of C. parallelus have an interesting fatty acids profile and minerals composition. Preliminary toxicity assessment indicates that these insects do not exhibit toxicity towards neutrophil cells (white blood cells). These data suggest that C. parallelus could be considered for human consumption. Rearing trials done during the study show that commercial rearing could be developed to produce sufficient biomass for sustaining human consumption. [less ▲]

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See detailEffectiveness of pheromone traps against Tuta absoluta
Ettaib, Refki; Belkadhi Mohamed, Sadok; Ben Belgacem, Ali et al

in Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies (2016), 4(6)

In the Tunisian south, the heated greenhouses are an important axis of development of agriculture thanks to the big geothermal potential of this zone. Currently, this sector suffers from several ... [more ▼]

In the Tunisian south, the heated greenhouses are an important axis of development of agriculture thanks to the big geothermal potential of this zone. Currently, this sector suffers from several phytosanitary problems. In the last years, a new insect, Tuta absoluta, threaten the cultures of cultivated tomatoes in heated greenhouses. To improve control of T. absoluta, the effectiveness of pheromone traps (associated or not with a source of light) and luminous traps (associated or not with water, with limed buckets for limed covers) were compared. The results show that the traps with pheromones significantly catch more adults of T. absoluta compared to all the other types of traps (average number of trapped adults of T. absoluta = 73.4 (± 142)). The luminous traps associated with water, with limed buckets as with limed covers show, as for them, an intermediate effectiveness. In spite of this slightly less effectiveness, the luminous traps have the advantage of low costs of production as well as the advantage of simultaneously capturing males and females of T. absoluta. [less ▲]

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See detailLa biodiversité entomologique comme source d’aliments à Kinshasa (République démocratique du Congo)
Nsevolo, Papy; Alabi, Taofic ULiege; Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege et al

in Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (2016)

L’exploitation des produits forestiers non ligneux dont notamment les insectes comestibles jouent un rôle important dans les habitudes alimentaires et économies locales des populations autochtones du ... [more ▼]

L’exploitation des produits forestiers non ligneux dont notamment les insectes comestibles jouent un rôle important dans les habitudes alimentaires et économies locales des populations autochtones du bassin du Congo. Bien que la consommation d’insectes en République Démocratique du Congo soit une pratique ancienne, l’inventaire et l’identification taxonomique des espèces consommées ainsi que la caractérisation de la filière « entomophagie » sont encore mal maitrisés. Toutefois, nos études axées sur la ville de Kinshasa ont permis d’inventorier 14 espèces comestibles régulièrement consommées. Elles appartiennent à l’ordre des Lépidoptères (46,7%), des Isoptères (18,6%), des Orthoptères (17,6%), des Coléoptères (9,7%) et des Hyménoptères (3,7%). De façon générale, 80% de la population de Kinshasa consomment au minimum une espèce d’insecte 5 jours par mois avec des quantités variant de 66,4 à 154 g d’insectes par personne par jour en fonction des différents ordres. Les acteurs de la filière sont majoritairement des femmes. Les revenus générés par l’activité concourent au bien-être des ménages, à la réduction de la pauvreté et de l’insécurité alimentaire dans de la capitale Kinshasa. [less ▲]

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See detailConsommation d’insectes : des arguments santé à l’acceptation et au changement de comportement alimentaire
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Alabi, Taofic ULiege; Haubruge, Eric ULiege et al

in Le Gall, Philippe; Motte-Florac, Elisabeth (Eds.) Savoureux insectes De l’aliment traditionnel à l’innovation gastronomique (2016)

Encore un petit Choco-croque de grillons ou un Crumble aux vers de farine ? Délicieuses gourmandises ! Comment ne pas se lancer dans cette découverte gastronomique quand les insectes sont envisagés comme ... [more ▼]

Encore un petit Choco-croque de grillons ou un Crumble aux vers de farine ? Délicieuses gourmandises ! Comment ne pas se lancer dans cette découverte gastronomique quand les insectes sont envisagés comme source majeure de protéines animales pour les décennies à venir ? Le sujet est à la mode mais exige d’être abordé sans tomber dans la raillerie, le sensationnalisme ou les raccourcis approximatifs et discutables. C’est pourquoi ce livre dresse une large fresque de la façon dont des insectes ont été consommés par l’homme, depuis nos plus lointains ancêtres jusqu’à l’époque contemporaine, et envisage leur contribution à la sécurité alimentaire de la population mondiale pour le XXIe siècle. De nombreux spécialistes apportent, à travers des exemples pris sur tous les continents, des réponses simples et claires mais aussi précises et rigoureuses aux interrogations que soulève la consommation d’insectes. Tous les insectes peuvent-ils être consommés ? Qui en mange d ans le monde ? Quel goût ont-ils ? Lesquels sont comestibles ? Comment faut-il les préparer, les conserver, les accommoder ? Faut-il les manger tout entiers ? Existe-t-il des produits alimentaires industriels qui en contiennent ? En manger n’est-il pas dangereux pour la santé ? Leur récolte ne met-elle pas en péril l’équilibre des écosystèmes ? Que penser de leur élevage ? [less ▲]

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See detailCurrent status of edible insect industry and research in Europe with a particular focus on the Belgian case
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Alabi, Taofic ULiege; Haubruge, Eric ULiege et al

Conference (2016)

Since the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) announcement, in 2013, of an edible insect program, entomophagy (i.e. the consumption of edible insects) is actually considered as a ... [more ▼]

Since the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) announcement, in 2013, of an edible insect program, entomophagy (i.e. the consumption of edible insects) is actually considered as a future ecological alternative to protein supply in Europe. However, success in introducing entomophagy in Western societies depends on factors governing current legislation adaptation and consumers’ attitudes towards insect-based products. Firstly, current legislative brake for the development of insect industry and future adaptation of this legislation will be explained and discussed. As an example, few edible insect species are allowed in Europe (at least 10 species and only in Belgium) and among them, some insects are rather intended for human consumption, as Acheta domestica (L. 1758), while others are more targeted for feed since they are reared on decaying organic matter, such as Hermetia illucens (L. 1758) but are still not allowed. Secondly, a quick presentation of the actual European research projects on edible insects will be presented to show the real interest for this new protein source in Europe. Thirdly, the actual growing business of edible insect will be presented as despite the lack of clear legislative frameworks before 2017, insect breading and insect processing companies are created every month and try to ride the wave of edible insects. Finally, a new consumer acceptance study from our laboratory will be presented, as highlighted before, consumer acceptance is big concern for edible insect business in Europe. Effectively, edible insect is very unconventional in Europe and new insect-based products must be deeply studied before any relying on the market. [less ▲]

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See detailHow to convince Westerners to eat insects?
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Alabi, Taofic ULiege; Haubruge, Eric ULiege et al

Conference (2016)

Edible insects are actually fashionable in Westerners aperitif. This marketing strategy allows producers to sell dried insects at high prices but without a sustainable establishment on the market. For a ... [more ▼]

Edible insects are actually fashionable in Westerners aperitif. This marketing strategy allows producers to sell dried insects at high prices but without a sustainable establishment on the market. For a better position on the marketplace, several studies suggest integrating insects in an invisible way in ready-to-eat preparations. This talk present our past studies on the subject and a new one, using entomophagy perception questionnaires and hedonic scales, that compared the sensory-liking of dried mealworms and homemade pasta enriched with 10% of mealworms. Unsurprisingly, 90% of the participants preferred mealworms pasta. Nevertheless, it has been shown that women who have already eaten insects gave higher ratings to the two preparations’ taste while men responded similarly regardless their previous experience. It was also found a correlation between the overall liking evaluation, closely related to the odor evaluation, and the respondents’ personality. Effectively, people whom self-characterized them as suspicious gave low ratings to the two preparations; curious, adventurous and down-to-earth people intermediately rated preparations while ambitious people highly rated them. This study confirms the possible insect integration by proposing powdered insects in ready-to-eat preparations. A particular attention to products’ odor must be done, as suspicious people seem to rely on this organoleptic property to assess their global evaluation of insects’ products. Finally, women taste evaluation strengthened the idea that women are more neophobic than men as only women with previous experiences with insects gave high ratings to the preparations. As key contributors in food shopping decisions, women could be targeted by specific insect tasting sessions correlated with healthy or sustainable arguments to support entomophagy. [less ▲]

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See detailConsumer acceptance of insect-based alternative meat products in Western countries
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Gierts, Chloé; Blecker, Christophe ULiege et al

in Food Quality & Preference (2016)

During the past few years, entomophagy has been increasing in significance. As insects are generally high in protein, they are principally considered as meat substitutes. Nevertheless, in Western ... [more ▼]

During the past few years, entomophagy has been increasing in significance. As insects are generally high in protein, they are principally considered as meat substitutes. Nevertheless, in Western countries, meat substitute consumption is actually very low, principally due to food neophobia and poor sensory qualities in comparison with meat. In insect particular case, food neophobia is clearly high. To reduce insect food neophobia, previous studies suggest to insert invisible insect in food preparation and/or to associate them with known flavors. In this study, a survey on entomophagy perception and hedonic tests were realized to assess the level of sensory-liking of hybrid insect-based burgers (beef, lentils, mealworms and beef, mealworms and lentils). Participants’ overall liking of the four burgers differed between genders and was influenced by burger appearance and taste. Women clearly preferred beef burger appearance, whereas men preferred the appearance of beef and insect-based burgers. Concerning insect-based burger taste, participants (men and women) rated it intermediately, between that of the beef and lentil burger, with a preference for the mealworm and beef burger. Results also showed that people with previous entomophagy experience was limited but that they gave globally higher ratings to all preparations. In conclusion, insect tasting sessions are important to decrease food neophobia, as they encourage people to “take the first step” and become acquainted with entomophagy. Nevertheless, insect integration into Western food culture will involve a transitional phase with minced or powdered insects incorporated into ready-to-eat preparations, as people are not ready to add insects to their diets in “whole form.” [less ▲]

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See detailOptimization of a cheap and residential small-scale production of edible crickets with local by-products as an alternative protein-rich human food source in Ratanakiri Province (Cambodia)
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Alabi, Taofic ULiege; Nieus, Clément et al

in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2016)

Background - Health status of the indigenous people of the Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia, is significantly lower compared to the rest of the nation. The domestication and mass production of insects may ... [more ▼]

Background - Health status of the indigenous people of the Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia, is significantly lower compared to the rest of the nation. The domestication and mass production of insects may represent a sustainable, cost effective and high quality alternative source of protein to traditional livestock. This study aimed to optimise a cheap and residential cricket breeding system based on unused wild resources. The cricket development, Teleogryllus testaceus (Walker), under seven diets composed of taro aerial parts, young cassava leaves, young cashew leaves and brown rice flour (with or without banana slices), versus a traditionally used broiler feed diet was studied. Results - Cricket mortality was low in all diets, except the two cashew-based diets. Total biomass was significantly higher under the broiler feed, in addition to the two diets containing a combination of cassava leaf powder and brown rice. Yet, crickets fed with the taro diet had the highest percentage of protein. Concerning the breeding system cost, units using cassava leaves were the cheapest ones. Conclusion – Diets based of cassava leaves seems to be the most promising ones. Nevertheless, to produce crickets with a high body mass and a high protein level, a new experiment must be realised in which the cassava leaf maturity will be adapted to fit with the cricket growth stage. Moreover, to reduce the cost of the breeding units, handmade local products should be used instead of purchased components. [less ▲]

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See detailIntérêt nutritionnel des insectes
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege

Article for general public (2015)

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