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Chemical Composition and Food Potential of Pachymerus nucleorum Larvae Parasitizing Acrocomia aculeata Kernels

Chemical Composition and Food Potential of Pachymerus nucleorum Larvae Parasitizing Acrocomia aculeata Kernels

Plos one 11(3): E0152125

ISSN/ISBN: 1932-6203

PMID: 27031500

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152125

Insect consumption as food is culturally practiced in various regions of the world. In Brazil, there are more than 130 species of edible insects registered, from nine orders, among which stands out the Coleoptera. The larva of the beetle Pachymerus nucleorum Fabricius, 1792, grows into the bocaiuva fruit (Acrocomia aculeata (Jacq.) Lodd. Ex Mart., 1845), which has proven nutritional quality. The aim of this work was to evaluate the nutritional potential of P. nucleorum larvae compared to bocaiuva kernels for human consumption. Proteins were the second largest portion of the larvae nutritional composition (33.13%), with percentage higher than the bocaiuva kernels (14.21%). The larval lipid content (37.87%) was also high, very close to the kernels (44.96%). The fraction corresponding to fatty acids in the oil extracted from the larvae was 40.17% for the saturated and 46.52% for the unsaturated. The antioxidant activity value was 24.3 uM trolox/g of oil extracted from larvae. The larvae tryptic activity was 0.032±0.006 nmol BAPNA/min. Both the larvae and the bocaiuva kernel presented absence of anti-nutritional factors. These results favor the use of P. nucleorum larvae as food, which are a great protein and lipid sources with considerable concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids compared to the bocaiuva kernel.

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