Insects as food have been consumed all over the world, mostly by ethnic communities, since time immemorial. With the ever-increasing human population causing an imbalance between food production and nutrition, edible insects are gaining importance as an alternative food source. The aim of this paper is to record the region-specific current practices of entomophagy and their implications in food security. The study involved field investigation to find out the pattern of entomophagy among the scheduled tribes of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), Assam. Following this, we made an effort to estimate the diversity of edible insects at different sampling sites in the studied area. Nutritional profiling of some of the edible insects was carried out to know their potential as a measure of food security. A total of 25 edible insects belonging to 9 orders and 18 families were recorded during the study period. Species diversity was recorded highest in forest/backyard forest habitat followed by agricultural field habitat, open field habitat and swampy area habitat in all the four districts in BTR, Assam. During the consumer survey, a total of 4,051 people belonging to four different scheduled tribes, Bodo, Rabha, Garo and Sarania were interviewed and out of them, 3,840 (94.79%) people were found to consume insects as food. The insects are mostly consumed in fried form, followed by smoked, raw, paste, roasted and curry form. The biochemical analysis of nutrient contents of 11 commonly consumed edible insects showed that they are a rich source of protein, vitamins and micronutrients with a reasonable amount of carbohydrates and lipids with higher radical scavenging activity. To manage insects in the context of food security, increased attention should be given to sustainable collection and successful farming of edible insects for the creation of export potential, giving emphasis on the nutritional advantages.

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Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

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Online ISSN: 2352-4588
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Journal Impact Factor Journal of Insects as Food and Feed: 5.099

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