Inhabitants of the Indonesian island of Sumatra are faced with the problem of insufficient food supplies and the consequent risk of undernourishment and health issues. Edible insects as a traditional and readily available food source could be part of the solution. The nutritional value of insects depends on many factors, e.g., species, developmental stage, sex, diet, and climatic conditions. However, edible insects bred in Sumatra for human consumption have never before been assessed with regard to their nutritional value. Our study involved analyses of crude protein, chitin, fat and selected fatty acid contents of giant mealworm larvae (Zophobas morio), larvae of the common mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) and nymphs of the field cricket (Gryllus assimilis). Crude protein content in the samples ranged from 46% to 56%. Highest (35%) and lowest (31%) amounts of fat were recorded in giant mealworm larvae and larvae of the common mealworm, respectively. Chitin amounts ranged from 6% to 13%. Based on these values, which are comparable to those known from other food insects reared in different regions of the world, the edible species bred in Sumatra could become food sources with a potential to help stave off hunger and undernourishment.
Keywords: Gryllus assimilis; Indonesia; Tenebrio molitor; Zophobas morio; amino acid profile; chitin; crude protein; edible insect; fats.