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Keywords:

  • DHA;
  • EPA;
  • GC analysis;
  • Seasonal fatty acids;
  • Seawater fish

Abstract

Seasonal variations of proximate compositions, muscle lipids and fatty acids (FA) of seven seawater species (Silllago sihoma, Upeneus pori, Sparus aurata, Saurida undosquamis, Epinephelus auneus, Mullus barbatus, Solea solea) from the Mediterranean Sea, were determined in all seasons. The results showed that the fatty acid compositions of each species ranged from 26.41 to 38.70% saturated (SFA), 13.78 to 26.52% monounsaturated (MUFAs) and 25.02 to 50.83% PUFAs. The highest proportions of EPA were obtained from M. barbatus (8.34%) in spring, S. sihoma (7.54%), U. pori (6.75%), S. aurata (6.31%), S. undosquamis (5.12%), E. auneus (5.10%) in summer, and also S. solea (6.19%) in spring. The highest proportions of DHA were found in spring, ranging from 25.14% for M. barbatus to 34.87% for S. aurata, except for S. solea (30.44%) in winter and S. sihoma (15.83%) in summer. The results showed that from a quality point of view, all species were suitable for human nutrition, since muscle lipids are rich in EPA + DHA in all seasons.

Practical application: The American and Canadian Dietetic Associations recommend two servings of fatty fish per week and a daily combined intake of EPA and DHA of 500 mg. This follows a trend of numerous publications and other guidelines recognizing the health benefits of long-chain n-3 PUFA from fish or marine microbial sources with respect to cardiovascular health, neurological diseases, infant health and development, inflammation and cancer and other health effects. The seven species analyzed here provide muscle lipids that are rich in EPA and DHA. Only minor season-to-season changes in the total content of n-3 and n-6 PUFA were observed for the same species. The results provide valuable information for preparing diet tables.