In recent times due to the quest of high protein demand and economic standards of living in Nigeria. Winged termites serve as delicious delicacy to most south-south and south-east region of Nigeria.
Nutritional Value & Health benefits of winged termites popularly known as Aku by the igbos and Esunsun by the Yorubas and khiyea by Hausas
While we gradually approach into the rainy season, also in the season of edible insects. There’s a need to know more about this insects and its nutritional value to human health. Meanwhile winged termites are local delicacy to most people in Nigeria and are quit delicious when prepared. While some regions in Nigeria find them very offensive and disgusting some find it really spicy, crunchy and nutritious as well. Winged termites are good source of protein, zinc and iron.
How to Prepare Winged Termites
In Nigeria, termites are usually roasted, fried or eaten raw. Here are some steps in preparing fried winged termites
- Step one is to remove the wings, wash thoroughly
- Step two is to add some vegetable oil in a frying pan and allow to heat.
- Add your already washed termites to fry.
- Add a little salt and allow frying till it’s crunchy.
- Remove it from the heat and chop some onion and fresh pepper on it.
- Your sweet delicacy is ready to munch
Nutritional Value & Health benefits of winged termites
According to recent research, in addition to their ecological importance , termites are a source of medicinal and food resources to various human populations in various locations of the world, showing their potential for being used as an alternative protein source in human or livestock diets, as well as a source for new medicines.
Nigerian researchers have determined the nutrient composition and the toxicant level of the commonly eaten termite’s castes in Niger-Delta region of Nigeria.
Winged termites are rich in protein, lipid, and gross energy content.
It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is a good source of antioxidants too.
It can serve as source of animal protein, and its inclusion in locally formulated infant complementary foods can be a promising and worthwhile exercise.
Investigating its protein quality, fatty acid profile and micronutrient bioavailability is needed to confirm its suitability or otherwise as a good source of both protein and micronutrients in infant complementary foods
Winged termites constitute a significant component of diet among the people of the Niger-Delta region in Nigeria.
A number of insect and their products are used as food items in some parts of Nigeria and to a large extent eaten as tit bits or exclusively by children. Winged termites, outside having nutritional values also have economic benefits for less privileged children and women across Nigeria.