The Role of Edible Insects in Diets and Nutrition in East Africa

  • John N. KinyuruEmail author
  • Dorothy Nyangena
  • Edwin Kamau
  • Alex Ndiritu
  • Joyce Muniu
  • Carolyne Kipkoech
  • Johnson Weru
  • Nancy Ndung’u
  • Mercy Mmari


Insects have been used as food, medicine and in rituals by a number of communities in the East African region comprising of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania over centuries. Progressively, farmed edible insects mainly crickets and grasshoppers are gaining popularity within the region. However the utilization of the edible insects is hampered by lack of storage and preservation facilities in the rural areas leading to high postharvest losses. Sun drying and roasting have been the main processing methods applied for decades by communities consuming edible insects such as the Luo from Kenya. Recently there has been incorporation of insects as an ingredient in processing of baked products and complementary foods. Culture, taboos, customs and ethnic preferences have highly influenced the consumption of edible insects in East Africa. Edible insects such as grasshoppers, mayfly and termites that are consumed in this region have been shown to be source of both macro and micro nutrients and other components such as chitin which has been linked to improved health and better management of chronic diseases. Therefore edible insects promises to be a part of the solution to food and nutrition security within the East African region.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John N. Kinyuru
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dorothy Nyangena
    • 1
  • Edwin Kamau
    • 1
  • Alex Ndiritu
    • 1
  • Joyce Muniu
    • 1
  • Carolyne Kipkoech
    • 1
  • Johnson Weru
    • 1
  • Nancy Ndung’u
    • 1
  • Mercy Mmari
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyJomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and TechnologyNairobiKenya

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