worm, beetle, protein, food, entomophagy.
Objective: To determinate the nutritional composition of larvae of the Rhynchophorus palmarum L. 1758 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) beetle in palm trees of the Mezquital Valley, Hidalgo, Mexico.
Design/Methodology/Approach: In January 2020, 250g of South American Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum) larvae were collected from damaged Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis). The larvae were gathered at the Universidad Politécnica de Francisco I. Madero, located in Tepatepec, Hidalgo, Mexico. They were placed in a plastic jar and later in a freezer for conservation and transportation to the Departamento de Nutrición Animal y Bioquímica, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, where their nutritional composition was evaluated by proximate chemical analysis.
Results: In their proximate composition, the larvae of R. palmarum presented a protein concentration of 25.52% (dry basis) and of 9.04% (wet basis), ether extract of 19.77%, dry matter of 35.74%, humidity of 64.26%, ashes of 0.70%, crude fiber of 1.64%, nitrogen-free extract of 4.58%, calcium of 0.20%, and phosphorus of 0.31%.
Study Limitations/Implications: No previous research about the use of this insect as human food in Mexico was found.
Findings/Conclusions: We conclude that these larvae can be exploited for human and livestock food (as a protein and energy supplement) and even to enrich and prepare conventional foods for society.