Nutrient Characteristics of the Subterranean Termite, Macrotermes subhyalinus (Rambur) (Isoptera: Termitidae).


ABSTRACT. Four castes of Macrotermes subhyalinus (Rambur): queen, worker, soldier and’ alates were analyzed for nutrients’ and the functional properties of the protein’ determined. Values’ from’ proximate analysis showed significant differences among castes. The workers had the highest protein content (57.87%), followed by the queen (5190%); soldier’ (43.05%) and alates (34.54%). The worker also had the highest moisture arid carbohydrate but the soldier had the highest ash and crude fibre content. The alates had the highest fat content (47.03%), followed by the queen (27.37%), worker (5.55%) and soldier(4.80%). Mineral contents excluding zinc also differed significantly with the worker having the highest proportion in six out of the 10 minerals analyzed. Protein of the alates had the highest emulsion stability on heating while the worker had
the highest emulsion capacity after centrifugation. The different termite castes also had different levels of water and oil absorbing capacity, least gelation concentration and foaming capacity.

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