Calcium in edible insects and its use in human nutrition
Keywords:calcium, phosphorus, edible insects, nutrition, health
Calcium is one of the most problematic substances in human nutrition. Nutrition in the present population is not optimal, because of insufficient consumption of milk and dairy products. Due to the expanding interest of specialists and the general public about entomophagy, as well as increase of the EU interest in this type of food, there is a need to consider the use of edible insects as an alternative source of nutrition. From the perspective of edible insects as a source of calcium, edible insects could be considered as a possible source of calcium for enriching the diet and also as a substitute for people with lactose intolerance and allergies to other categories of foods rich in calcium. Of the six analysed species of edible insect, Bombyx mori had the highest calcium content, almost comparable to semi-skimmed cow's milk. Gryllus assimillis can also be a rich source of calcium as well as other analysed species. The lowest content of calcium was detected in Zophobas morio. Common meat (chicken, beef, pork) has lower calcium content comparing with all analysed species of edible insect (Apis mellifera, Bombyx mori, Gryllus assimillis, Locusta migratoria, Tenebrio molitor, Zophobas morio). Therefore, the selected species of edible insect could serve as an alternative source of calcium for people with lactose intolerance and allergies to soy. Phosphorus level in human body is closely related to calcium in the calcium-phosphate metabolism, therefore phosphorus level was detected in these samples too. Bombyx mori had the highest phosphorus content and the lowest content of phosphorus was measured in Zophobas morio samples.
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