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Nutrient content of termites (Syntermes soldiers) consumed by Makiritare Amerindians of the Alto Orinoco of Venezuela.
Paoletti-MG; Buscardo-E; Vanderjagt-DJ; Pastuszyn-A; Pizzoferrato-L; Huang-Y-S; Chuang-L-T; Glew-RH; Millson-M; Cerda-H
Ecol Food Nutr 2003 Mar; 42(2):177-191
Termites seri (especially Syntermes aculeosus soldiers) are collected extensively by Makiritare (or Ye Kuana Indians in the Alto Orinoco) and consumed raw or after soaking in hot water (60-80 C). They are gathered be means of termite fishing technique and then transported into a package called kukuruciu made with Musacean (Phenakospermum sp.) leaves. The solders of Syntermes constitute a food source of great nutritional value: high in proteins and essential amino acids such as trytophan, which is generally limiting in the food insects. Abundant are minerals such as iron and calcium together with micronutrients. Essential fatty acids are well represented. In general, heads of seri are better nutritionally featured than thorax and abdomens (not eaten by the Makiritare but comsumed by the Piaroa Indians).
Food; Foodstuff; Ecological-systems; Insects; Nutrition
MG Paoletti, Department of Biology, Padova University, Via U. Bassi 58, B-35100, Padova, Italy
Issue of Publication
Ecology of Food and Nutrition
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division