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Research Journal of Animal Sciences
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 108 - 111

Physico-Chemical Properties and Safety of Grasshoppers, Important Contributors to Food Security in the Far North Region of Cameroon

Ahmed Ali, Bouba Adji Mohamadou, Clement Saidou, Yaouba Aoudou and Clerge Tchiegang    

Abstract: This research was carried out to determine physico-chemical characteristics and microbial quality of grasshoppers widely consumed in the Far North region of Cameroon where they contribute to a significant extent to food security. To this effect, morphology, moisture content, fats, proteins, total ash, minerals and some heavy metals were analyzed for fresh and fried grasshoppers purchased in local markets. Their safety was assessed through pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) screening using standard methods. Results showed that fresh grasshoppers were rich in protein (56.43±2.84 g/100 g dry matter) and in most minerals. The mineral contents ranged between 0.65±0.11 g/100 g DM for Zinc and 2434.45±11.06 g/100 g DM for calcium. These values witnessed slight or important decrease upon frying. Fortunately, heavy metals were not detected in both samples. However, the fresh products appeared to be highly contaminated by such bacteria as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, total and fecal coliforms, sulfite reducing clostridia, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. If some species were not detected in fried grasshoppers, the residual bacterial population remains worrisome. This study revealed that grasshoppers could be regarded as a cheap means of nutrients in general and proteins and minerals in particular. To benefit from all their nutrients safely, the insects must be properly processed to avoid any microbial contamination.

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