Edible insects are a widely exploited food source by many indigenous populations in most regions of the world. Edible insects have been used as food in sub-Saharan Africa, being a good source of protein and essential amino acid. Historically, they are important contributors to improving food and nutrition security, particularly for people who suffer from malnutrition due to protein deficiency. Africa is the continent with the highest number of records (19 countries), followed by the USA (5 countries) and Asia (5 countries). The species used for food and as feed include Hodotermitidae, Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae. Insects, such as termites, are also eaten raw directly on emergence from the holes. Species used in traditional popular medicine include Hodotermitidae and Termitidae. They are used in the treatment of various diseases that affect humans such as influenza, asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, sinusitis, tonsillitis and hoarseness.
Part of the book: Future Foods
Banana is an important fruit consumed globally and cultivated in humid and subtropical climes. The fruit comprises nutrients in its pulp and peel with beneficial properties. Banana in its unripe form, consists of indigestible compounds, resistant starch and dietary fibres. The starchy fruit degrades to fructose and sucrose when ripe, thus reducing its starch content. Aside its carbohydrate profile, essential macro and micro minerals, vitamins and phenolic compounds are other nutrients present in pulp and peel of the fruit. Resistant starch, an indigestible compound available in banana fruit, escapes absorption in the small intestine and is transported to the large intestine where digestion takes place. This occurrence makes banana a preferred fruit for consumers suffering from diabetes. Polyphenols, present in minute concentration in the fruit, functions as antioxidants, thus contributing immensely to the prevention of metabolic degenerative diseases. This chapter further examines available nutrients present in banana fruit, their absorption and utilisation in the body. The chapter also brings to the fore, the health benefits of consumption of ripe, unripe and processed banana products.
Part of the book: Banana Nutrition
As global food security and staple food, maize has become one of the most widely used cereals for fundamental research. Several important discoveries are reported, some of which are technological processes being used to improve maize crops’ dietetic, phenotypic, genotypic, and organoleptic properties. This chapter provides insight into improved technological techniques such as crossbreeding, genetic cloning, and functional genomics and how they improve the nutritional quality of maize crops. The use of these technological processes could be one of the sustainable strategies in meeting the dietary needs and livelihood of Africa, Mexico, and Latin America’s growing populace.
Part of the book: Maize Genetic Resources