Insects to supplement proteins in animal feed

Animals would soon have rich protein insect supplements in feeds following a conclusive research on health and nutritional content of edible insects by a international research institute.

A research by Nairobi-based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) has established that edible stink bugs, which are food to some South African communities, can be included in animal feeds to boost proteins, minerals and amino acids that are key to good health.

Besides being a rich source of food to humans, the researchers found that the insects can be essential in providing other nutrients in cereals and grains, which can be incorporated in manufacture of animal feeds, therefore, boosting food security.

“Stink bugs are an important source of protein and other nutrients. Their use as food has ecological advantages over conventional meat and, in the long run, economic benefits for mass production as animal feed and human food, and they are also a rich source of drugs for modern medicine, the researchers said in a journal.

The bug is rich in fatty acids and flavonoids, with the later being a strong antioxidants with anti inflammatory health benefits, Prof Baldwyn Torto, one of the researchers said.

 

They feed on trees and grasses, from where they can be collected and plunged into warm water before drying and storage in dry bags for food or sale.