Data on mopane worm ( Imbrasia belina) microorganisms from Limpopo Province, South Africa

Data Brief. 2020 May 13;31:105695. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2020.105695. eCollection 2020 Aug.


Mopane worm samples, obtained from different districts of the Limpopo Province of South Africa between April and July 2018, were investigated for the incidence of microbial flora. Over a period of ten weeks, samples consisting of market-obtained, field-prepared and sun- dried worms, were evaluated. It was revealed that after cooking at 89- 93°C, the microbial population was reduced to less than 9 000 CFU/g. The most prominent microbial populations cultured after cooking were spore- formers. Field-processed worms had a microbial population of 4 × 104 -1 × 108 CFU/g. Bacteria and fungi isolated included Aspergillus niger, Enterobacter aglomerans, Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus and Penicillium sp. Total microbial population ranged between 4 × 105 and 3 × 105 CFU/g after cooking. Total bacterial count increased in the sun- dried worms from 3 × 105-4 × 105 CFU/g, while it decreased from 2.0 × 105-1.4 × 105 CFU/g after cooking. This data can be used to generate safety guidelines related to the processing of edible insects, such as mopane worms.

Keywords: Edible insects; Health and safety; Microbes; Mopane worms.