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Measuring the nutritional cost of insect infestation of stored maize and cowpea

Measuring the nutritional cost of insect infestation of stored maize and cowpea

Stathers, Tanya E. ORCID: 0000-0002-7767-6186, Arnold, Sarah E. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7345-0529, Rumney, Corinne J. and Hopson, Clare (2020) Measuring the nutritional cost of insect infestation of stored maize and cowpea. Food Security, 12 (2). pp. 285-308. ISSN 1876-4517 (Print), 1876-4525 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-019-00997-w)

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Abstract

Our understanding and prevention of postharvest losses are critical if we are to feed a growing global population. Insect infestation-related losses of stored commodities are typically considered only in terms of quantitative, physical weight loss. Insect infestation affects the nutritional value and some nutritional components are impacted more severely than others. We infested maize and cowpea grain with commonly occurring stored product insect pests, and mapped infestation levels against nutritional composition over a 4-to-6 month storage period to analyse how insect infestation relates to different macro- and micro-nutrient contents. Insect infestation decreased the carbohydrate content of the stored grains, causing a relative increase in the proportion of protein and fibre in the remaining grain, and moisture content also increased. Sitophilus zeamais preferentially fed in the floury endosperm of maize, resulting in more carbohydrate loss relative to protein loss. Conversely, Prostephanus truncatus consumed the germ and endosperm, disproportionately reducing the fat, protein, iron and zinc grain contents. Nutrients are distributed more homogenously within cowpea than in maize grains, but Callosobruchus maculatus infestation increased the relative protein, fat, iron and zinc to carbohydrate ratios. This indicates how the nutrient content of insect-infested stored grain depends upon the grain type, the infesting insect, and the infestation level. Insect infestation therefore has consequences for human nutrition beyond those of grain weight loss. Using data collected on the changing nutritional composition of grain over time, with and without insect infestation, we modelled the associations between infestation and nutritional quality to predict estimated nutritional losses that could be associated with consumption of insect-infested stored maize and cowpea.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nutrition, Postharvest losses, Grain storage losses, Carbohydrate: Protein ratio, Sitophilus zeamais, Prostephanus truncates, Callosobruchus maculatus
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Postharvest Science and Technology Research Group
Last Modified: 29 May 2020 14:17
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/27314

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