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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 247 - 251

Characterization of Lipids in Winged Reproductives of the Termite Macrotermis bellicosus

K.E. Ekpo and A.O. Onigbinde    

Abstract: Macrotermis bellicosus (a reproductive form of winged termite) oil was extracted, and the oil was physically and chemically characterized. The lipid content of the insect was 31.46±0.57 (wet weight). The oil was a clear, odourless liquid, of a light yellow colour and it was fluid at room temperature (26±2oC). Lipid analysis revealed that the insect oil comprised 69.87±0.73% neutral lipid, 19.14±0.06% phospholipid and 10.81±0.40% glycolipids. Further analysis revealed a refractive index of 1.20±0.01, specific gravity of 0.90±0.01, solidification value of 10-14oC, total lipid phosphorus of 47.18±0.03 (mg/g lipid), acid value of 3.60±0.06, iodine value of 108.00±0.15, saponification value of 193.40±0.31, unsaponifiable matter of 12.04±0.11, free cholesterol of 8.73±1.01 (mg/100g lipid) and total cholesterol of 47.18±0.03. The unsaturated fatty acids accounted for 51.02% of the total fatty acids whereas the saturated fatty acids constituted 48.98 % of the fatty acids. These values when compared with that observed in oils which have been considered to be of high quality, suggest that Macrotermis bellicosus oil has potentials that could be exploited by the nutritional and pharmaceutical companies.

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