University of Oulu

Ghosh S, Namin SM, Meyer-Rochow VB, Jung C. Chemical Composition and Nutritional Value of Different Species of Vespa Hornets. Foods. 2021; 10(2):418.

Chemical composition and nutritional value of different species of Vespa hornets

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Author: Ghosh, Sampat1; Namin, Saeed Mahamadzade1,2; Meyer-Rochow, Victor Benno1,3;
Organizations: 1Agriculture Science and Technology Research Institution, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Korea
2Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Varamin-Pishva Branch, Islamic Azad University, Varamin 3381774895, Iran
3Department of Ecology and Genetics, Oulu University, 90140 Oulu, Finland
4Department of Plant Medicals, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Korea
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-03-10


We genetically identified three different species of hornets and analyzed the nutrient compositions of their edible brood. Samples were collected from a commercial production unit in Shizong province of China and from forests near Andong City in Korea. The species were identified as Vespa velutina, V. mandarinia, and V. basalis from China and V. velutina from Korea. Farmed V. velutina and V. mandarinia were found to have similar protein contents, i.e., total amino acids, whereas V. basalis contained less protein. The V. velutina brood collected from the forest contained the highest amount of amino acids. Altogether 17 proteinogenic amino acids were detected and quantified with similar patterns of distribution in all three species: leucine followed by tyrosine and lysine being predominant among the essential and glutamic acid among the non-essential amino acids. A different pattern was found for fatty acids: The polyunsaturated fatty acid proportion was highest in V. mandarinia and V. basalis, but saturated fatty acids dominated in the case of V. velutina from two different sources. The high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids in the lipids of the hornets could be expected to exhibit nutritional benefits, including reducing cardiovascular disorders and inflammations. High minerals contents, especially micro minerals such as iron, zinc, and a high K/Na ratio in hornets could help mitigate mineral deficiencies among those of the population with inadequate nutrition.

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Series: Foods
ISSN: 2304-8158
ISSN-E: 2304-8158
ISSN-L: 2304-8158
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Article number: 418
DOI: 10.3390/foods10020418
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: This work was funded by the BSRP through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Ministry of Education (NRF-2018R1A6A1A03024862).
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (