South African Journal of Science
Print version ISSN 0038-2353
TEFFO, L.S.; TOMS, R.B. and ELOFF, J.N.. Preliminary data on the nutritional composition of the edible stink-bug, Encosternum delegorguei Spinola, consumed in Limpopo province, South Africa. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2007, vol.103, n.11-12, pp. 434-436. ISSN 0038-2353.
THE EDIBLE STINK-BUG, ENCOSTERNUM (Haplosterna) delegorguei Spinola (Heteroptera, Hemiptera), is a traditional delicacy of the Venda people in South Africa's Limpopo province. Selling the insects at Thohoyandou and other markets provides a valuable income for harvesters. In this article we report the first nutritional information on these insects. Dried bugs consist of 35% protein, 51% fat, with an energy content of 2600 kJ/100 g. Amino-acid concentrations varied from 0.82 mg/100 g (for threonine) to 1.32 mg/100 g (valine). Mineral content was 1.2 g/100 g. The stink-bugs are therefore a source of proteins, fats, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. The conservation and sustainable harvesting of these insects is highly desirable. Further investigation of their nutritional and medicinal properties is recommended, as well as research on their conservation and more efficient use as a food source.