Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
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Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2016, 4(6), 343-348
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-4-6-1
Open AccessArticle

Nutrient Composition and Fatty Acid Profiles of Oven-dried and Freeze-dried Earthworm Eisenia foetida

Busisiwe Gunya1, Patrick Julius Masika1, 2, , Arno Hugo3 and Voster Muchenje1

1Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice, 5700, South Africa

2Fort Cox College, P.O. Box 2187, King William’s Town, 5600, South Africa

3Department of Animal Science, University of Free State, P.O. Box339, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa

Pub. Date: July 02, 2016

Cite this paper:
Busisiwe Gunya, Patrick Julius Masika, Arno Hugo and Voster Muchenje. Nutrient Composition and Fatty Acid Profiles of Oven-dried and Freeze-dried Earthworm Eisenia foetida. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2016; 4(6):343-348. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-4-6-1


Background: Eisenia foetida are used as a feed source. However, information on nutrient composition and fatty acid profiles of earthworm E.foetida is limited, making it complex to include them into feed formulation. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the nutritive value of freeze-dried and oven-dried earthworms, E. foetida. Design: The earthworms were oven- or freeze-dried, then analysed for nutrient composition (protein, fat, moisture and minerals) according to AOAC method and fatty acids using gas chromatography. Results: Protein content was higher in freeze-dried earthworms while fat content of earthworms was not influenced by drying methods used. Most minerals (macro and micro) of E. foetida were significantly different except for calcium (P < 0.05) with freeze-dried E. foetida having the predominant minerals than oven-dried earthworms. Most of essential fatty acids were significantly higher in oven-dried E. foetida than in freeze-dried earthworms. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed on Margaric, Vaccenic, Arachidic, Tricosanoic, omega-3, SFA, MUFA, n-3, PUFA: SFA and PUFA/MUFA between oven-dried and freeze-dried samples. Conclusions: The study revealed that freeze-dried E. foetida can serve as a better source of nutrients than oven-dried earthworms whereas fatty acids were better in oven-dried E. foetida than freeze-dried E. foetida. These results indicated that the effects of drying methods on E. foetida nutritive value were different.

chemical composition drying methods Eisenia foetida fatty acids

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