Reviewing entomophagy in the Democratic Republic of Congo: species and host plant diversity, seasonality, patterns of consumption and challenges of the edible insect sector

Abstract:

This paper reviews edible insect species and the host plant diversity associated with them in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including their seasonal availability throughout the year. Entomophagy practices are mapped on country scale and nationwide patterns of consumption are explored. Moreover, motives for consumer acceptance (or rejection) of insects as food are reported based on survey data and focus groups. The paper also points out research gaps (concerning notably food-safety risk associated to local species and the effects of processing techniques on nutrient contents or the digestibility of edible insects) and discusses major challenges (as the need for standardisation of local units of sale, the implementation of insects-related regulations and field studies supported by expert taxonomic input) for the sustainable development of the edible insect consumption market in the country. The inventory showed that 148 species of insects are consumed in DRC dominated by the orders of Lepidoptera (60.1%), Orthoptera (10.1%), Coleoptera (8.1%) and Hymenoptera (8.1%). Commonalities were observed throughout the country concerning a minority of the insects consumed (these are notably Rhynchophorus phoenicis, Imbrasia epimethea, Imbrasia oyemensis, Cirina forda), whereas the consumption of several edible species (e.g. Afzeliada afzelii, Hadraphe ethiopica, Rhypopteryx poecilanthes, Acanthacris ruficornis) seems to be restricted to the production areas where they occur, due probably to the absence of a trade system and people’s alimentary habits. Furthermore, host plant species for 38 major edible lepidopterans have been inventoried nationwide. Results indicated 122 plant species dominated by 4 families ranked as follows: Fabaceae (34.4%), Phyllanthaceae (10.6%), Meliaceae (4.9%) and Apocynaceae (4.1%). However, given concerns about some host plant species being endangered (Millettia laurentii, Gossweilerodendron balsamiferum) or critically endangered (Autranella congolensis), conservation strategies and methods of mass-rearing are needed. This article contributes to the growing body of knowledge detailing anthropoentomophagy in DRC.
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APA

M.P., N (2024). Reviewing entomophagy in the Democratic Republic of Congo: species and host plant diversity, seasonality, patterns of consumption and challenges of the edible insect sector. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/reviewing-entomophagy-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo-species-and-host-plant-diversity-seasonality-patterns-of-consumption-and-challenges-of-the-edible-insect-sector

MLA 8th

M.P., Nsevolo "Reviewing entomophagy in the Democratic Republic of Congo: species and host plant diversity, seasonality, patterns of consumption and challenges of the edible insect sector" Afribary. Afribary, 10 Mar. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/reviewing-entomophagy-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo-species-and-host-plant-diversity-seasonality-patterns-of-consumption-and-challenges-of-the-edible-insect-sector. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

MLA7

M.P., Nsevolo . "Reviewing entomophagy in the Democratic Republic of Congo: species and host plant diversity, seasonality, patterns of consumption and challenges of the edible insect sector". Afribary, Afribary, 10 Mar. 2024. Web. 26 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/reviewing-entomophagy-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo-species-and-host-plant-diversity-seasonality-patterns-of-consumption-and-challenges-of-the-edible-insect-sector >.

Chicago

M.P., Nsevolo . "Reviewing entomophagy in the Democratic Republic of Congo: species and host plant diversity, seasonality, patterns of consumption and challenges of the edible insect sector" Afribary (2024). Accessed May 26, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/reviewing-entomophagy-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo-species-and-host-plant-diversity-seasonality-patterns-of-consumption-and-challenges-of-the-edible-insect-sector