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Unformatted text preview: American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences 4 (4): 319-331, 2009 ISSN 1557-4989 2009 Science Publications Corresponding Author: A.E. Ghaly, Department of Biological Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Tel: (902) 494-6014 319 The Yellow Mealworm as a Novel Source of Protein 1 A.E. Ghaly and 2 F.N. Alkoaik 1 Department of Biological Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 2 Department of Agricultural engineering, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Abstract: Problem statement: Yellow mealworms of different sizes (4.8-182.7 mg) were grown in a medium of wheat flour and brewers yeast (95:5 by weight) to evaluate their potential as a protein source. Approach: There was an initial adjustment period (3-9 days) observed during which the younger larvae (4.8-61.1 mg) grew slowly while the older ones (80.3-182.7 mg) lost weight. After this initial period, the younger larvae (4.8-122.1 mg) increased in weight while the older ones (139.6-182.7 mg) continued to lose weight as they entered the pupal stage. For efficient production of larvae, they should be harvested at a weight of 100-110 mg. The moisture issue in the medium presents an important management problem for commercial production. Results: A system in which eggs are separate from adults and hatched in separate chambers would alleviate the danger of losing the larval population due to microbial infection. The moisture, ash, protein and fat contents were 58.1-61.5, 1.8- 2.2, 24.3-27.6 and 12.0-12.5%, respectively. Yellow mealworms seem to be a promising source of protein for human consumption with the required fat and essential amino acids. Further research into raising them on a variety of low quality substances/wastes such as saw dust, waste paper, corn starch and potato flour is recommended. Conclusion/Recommendations: The future research should also investigate the nutrition content of the medium (minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrates and vitamins) and the effect of environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, production of CO 2 and heat) on protein yield and quality. This information will aid in the design of an economically viable large scale production system. Key words: Entomophagy, insects, yellow mealworm, wheat flour, yeast, growth rate, protein, amino acids, fat, essential elements, human food, fat, protein INTRODUCTION About two-thirds of the worlds population suffered from protein deficiency in the 1970s  . The development of novel protein sources such as Fish Protein Concentrate (FPC) [2-4] and Single Cell Protein (SCP) [5,6] has made a major contribution to the world protein pool. However, there is still over one billion people suffering from malnutrition and protein deficiency today  . It is, therefore, conceivable that similar success could be obtained by utilizing what seems to be an inexhaustible source of insects to provide a sustainable supply of protein for human...
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