Quality and stability of cricket enriched cookies
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Insect consumption dates back to prehistoric era where insects were mainly eaten raw or processed (sundried, fried and smoked). However, in the modern era, insect consumption is mostly something that is nostalgic about old times in the rural areas, except for grasshoppers, which are widely consumed in both rural and urban areas. Grasshoppers and termites are the mostly consumed insects in most Ugandan cultures with crickets being sparsely consumed. In an effort to increase access and acceptability among consumers, researchers are coming up with various ways the less consumed insects such as crickets can be included in the human diet. The most acceptable of these forms is the powder form. In this study, cookies produced with different percentages of cricket flour were assessed for their sensory and nutritional quality as well as their shelf stability. To assess the consumer acceptability of cricket enriched cookies, sensory evaluation for the different attributes such as color, aroma, taste, flavor, mouth-feel, after-taste, crunchiness and over-all acceptability using a 9-point hedonic scale was carried out. For the nutritional composition of the cookies, proximate analysis using AOAC and AOCS methods was carried out. Shelf stability was evaluated based on selected attributes (taste, color and crunchiness) of the cookies over the course of 22 weeks. Chemical stability (moisture content and acid value) of the cookies was also assessed over 18 weeks and their microbial stability over 12 weeks. The results were analyzed using SPSS data analysis software to find any significant differences among the observations and Excel was used for the graphs. The results from consumer acceptability testing revealed that cookies enriched with 5% cricket flour (CP5) were liked as much as the control cookies with no cricket flour (CP0). The CP5 and CP0 cookies had over-all acceptability of 7.65 and 7.38, respectively on a 9-point hedonic scale, which were not significantly different. The overall acceptability for cookies enriched with 10% cricket flour (CP10) was 6.13 which was significantly different from CP0 and CP5 and CP10 had the lowest scores of 6.13. Proximate analysis results revealed that CP5 cookies had higher protein, dietary fiber and ash, fat content compared to the control cookies. CP5 and CP0 cookies were found to have respectively 12.50% and 8.05% protein, 4.12% and 1.46% dietary fiber, 2.01% and1.46% ash and 21.90% and 19.48% fat. The shelf stability of the 5% cricket enriched cookies fluctuated across the weeks and therefore could not lead to conclusions. Further research is required to make conclusive decisions about the stability of cricket enriched cookies.