Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Sign In with Facebook Sign In with Google Sign In with OpenID Sign In with Twitter

In this Discussion

Locust/Grasshopper viability as baby food

Hey guys. I'm new here. I'm interested in seeing if locusts or grasshoppers can be used as a weaning meal for infants. I've been looking at some works of Prof. Arnold van Huis of FAO but I needed some help on how to probably formulate a baby formula based on the locust/grasshopper nutrient content. This is in line with an infant's (6-18months) daily energy, protein (including amino acid) and Omega-3 requirements. I would highly appreciate any assistance. Thank you.


  • Hi Keith, - 2nd, 3rd & 5th reports listed in Forum thread titled "Data Resources" might contain ( if my memory correct) some of the specific information you are asking about for grasshopper/locust.

  • Thank you Gringojay

  • Again Keith, - When calculating proportions of nutritional insect components bear in mind that anywhere from 3-9% of nitrogen that forms the category of "crude protein" originally had been tied up in association with insect's chitin; analytic tactics release ammonia from chitin. Generating data for crude protein is done by an indirect method; total nitrogen found (including ammonia) is multiplied by the cipher 6.25 that is considered to usually (original published research should specify cipher number used if not 6.25) then convert the nitrogen amount into the comparable amount of protein.

    This also can result in data on acid detergent fiber yield (abbreviated FIBAD) being a little off; since analytic tactic also usually counts chitin among the fiber. However, this procedure also counts the nitrogen associated with the chitin as part of the fiber total; unless fiber data determined via neutral fiber test (abbreviated FIBND).

  • Hi Keith- Why have you focused on grasshopper/ locust for insect suitable for weaning ingredient? I recommend you look at latest (May 20,2016) reference in thread "Data resources" & notice the criteria which the authors applied for insect composition research found grasshopper data imprecise.

    To make a weaning formula with a proportion of insects would require it to be precisely replicable. Which is to say, just feeding grasshoppers/locust on seasonally available plant matter is probably going to give you insects with amino acid profiles that vary.

    This suggests ( to me ) that one would need to establish when variety of grasshopper is going to be reared, experiment with replicable year-round diet components, assay a specific age 'hopper nutrient composition & then evaluate if need to find additional sources for rate-limiting compounds. If your target consumer was an adult then product variability would not be much of an issue.

    Since you allude to FAO I am thinking your goal is production in hotter regions than temperate zone economies. Are you considering any type of region or so far working on a "why not" concept?

  • Hey Gringojay. Sorry for the late reply. I'm considering working in sub-saharan Africa for malnourished infants. Most of the weaning foods are energy-dense and have negligible nutrient composition e.g finger millet which thrives in the sub-humid conditions. My concept is based on improving on the protein content of these weaning foods.

  • OK Keith, - Kind of figured Africa; in which case I think you might generate a more constant insect protein profile by rearing mealworms (if can keep the facility temperature down & stock breeding humidity up). Without considering facility conditions in this comment, my suggestion is based on the fact that millet bran could be your feed substrate for Tenebrio molitor larvae ("yellow" mealworm).

    Roughly speaking millet bran has 52% fiber & high carbohydrate diets favor their development + 12% protein + 9% oil. As per (2009) "Chemical characteristics and fatty acid profile of foxtail millet bran oil".

    I haven't considered how practical it would be to remove the bran. It does not seem that removing the bran would alter ratios of protein & fiber in the remaining millet seed - both portions (bran & grain) seem to have about the same ratios of these 2 components. See entries for protein & fiber in Table 1 of (2011) "Extraction and fractionation of insoluble fiber from foxtail millet" gives data for de-fatted (oil removed) white & yellow millet seed meal (includes bran fraction).

    In contrast, rearing grasshoppers/locust on seasonal vegetation might mean episodes where any one feedstock ingredient becomes in short supply could (?) change some amino acid % in the insect protein. Whereas an insect predominantly reared on bran would assure more consistent bug feedstock (& thus stable amino acid % in the bug protein) because could store bran stock reliable.

    "Lesser mealworm" instead of "Yellow mealworm" are more tolerant of higher temperatures. This could be a better larvae to rear in unspecified part of sub-saharan Africa if you are not committed to working with grasshoppers/locust for insect protein.

  • Thanks gringojay for as usual your interesting and informative comments, I always learn something new. Keith, I am also interested in this area & have some small references on it somewhere that I will find up for you. My facebook is agribug if anyone wants to look me up. Thanks.

  • Much appreciated katee571

  • Sorry keith, i forgot all about this thread. Are you still interested in this topic ? Thanks

Sign In or Register to comment.