A Spectroscopy and Chromatography Based Study on Mineral Analysis, Amino Acid and Fatty Acid Composition of Polistes olivaceus, an Edible Insect Consumed in North East India


  • Bodoland University, Department of Biotechnology, Kokrajhar, Assam, 783370, India


The study was aimed to analyze the mineral content, amino acid and fatty acid composition of Polistes olivaceus larvae consumed by different aboriginal tribes of North East India. Although the edible insect larvae has high market value in Assam and adjoining states of North East India, the nutritional analysis on it has not been done till now. Mineral elements including potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron and copper were detected by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. Amino acid composition and fatty acid profile were analysed by high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography mass spectrometry respectively to ascertain its potentiality to be included in food based strategies concerning human health. Iron and copper were the most abundant minerals and potassium, sodium and phosphorus were present in substantial amounts. Nineteen amino acids including all essential amino acids (43.87%) except isoleucine were detected in the sample. All essential amino acids satisfied the recommended level (score>100) except leucine with a chemical score of 98%. The level of unsaturated fatty acids was 53.21% while the saturated fatty acids constituted 47.02% of the total fatty acids signifying its potentiality in nutrition and health. Presence of linolenic acid as the main constituent of polyunsaturated fatty acids greatly signifies its importance in human nutrition. Thus, Polistes olivaceus larvae may be exploited to provide high-quality diets among populations plagued by iron deficiency as well as poor supply of dietary proteins and polyunsaturated fatty acids.


Polistes olivaceus, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, nutrition

Subject Collection

North East India

Subject Discipline

Biochemistry; Nutrition; Entomophagy

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