MICROBIOLOGY AND NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF AN EDIBLE LARVA (BUNAEA ALCINOE STOLL) OF THE NIGER DELTA

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ABSTRACT

The microbial load and nutritional composition of the Bunaea alcinoe larvae were investigated. The bacterial population of the skin and intestinal content were 8.16 × 106and 5.70 × 105 cfu/g while the fungal populations were 2.07 × 106and 1.32 × 106 cfu/g, respectively. Twenty bacterial isolates belonging to the genera Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Micrococcus and Acinetobacter were isolated. Staphylococcus aureus occurred on both the skin and intestinal content. The nutritional composition of the larvae revealed high protein (55%) followed by fat (25%). Total available carbohydrate, moisture and ash were 4, 8 and 8%, respectively. The public health implication of the presence of S. aureus is highlighted. B. alcinoe larva is a rich source of protein and can be recommended in the diet of communities where protein is scarce or expensive.

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