Microbiology of African Edible Insects

  • Nils Th. GrabowskiEmail author


Each foodstuff hosts a specific micro- and mycobiome during its passage from primary production to the final product to be consumed, and edible insects are no exceptions to the rule. Being so, however, this microbiological profile varies with the species and the environment it is placed in. Taxonomically, the species’ micro/mycobiome contains several species presumably present in all insects, some species which appear to be shared by most if not all insect species belonging to the same order, the same family, and the same genus. The specific array of bacteria and fungi is determined by this taxonomical setup, the species’ instar, and the environment, the latter including the place of origin (wild range resp. farm), and the microbiological features affecting the animal resp. the product during processing and storage. Insect consumption and activities linked to it is backed by a solid tradition seeking to minimize consumer risks. However, changes in this habit, e.g. farming, packaging, transport, and “novel” storage conditions, may pose risks not contemplated by tradition. In this way, it is recommended to re-evaluate these traditions scientifically and adapt traditions to these novel situations.


Microbiome Mycobiome Entomophagy Food tradition Food safety Food-borne diseases Food spoilage 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Food Quality and Food SafetyHannover University of Veterinary MedicineHannoverGermany

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