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Insects and Human Nutrition

  • Nanna Roos
Chapter

Abstract

Despite high diversity in species as well as metamorphological life-stages, edible insects are essentially an animal-source food contributing high quality protein and fat when viewed in the context of human nutrition. The nutritional contribution of insects to diets in populations where insects are consumed as a part of traditional diets is largely unknown because of lack of data and information on insect supply and consumption. Protein and fat nutritional quality varies between insects and the life-stage of consumption (egg, larvae, pupae, adult) when they are consumed, and the feeding history of the insects. Many insects have high contents of minerals important for human nutrition, such as iron and zinc, though the bioavailability in humans needs to be documented for a complete evaluation of the nutritional contribution. Few data are available on vitamin contents in insect. Insects have a high potential to improve the nutritional quality of diets in populations at risk of malnutrition, either consumed whole as in traditional diets, or as ingredients in processed foods.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NutritionExercise and Sports (NEXS), University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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