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Nutritional quality of salmon products available from major retailers in the UK: content and composition of n-3 long-chain PUFA

  • João Henriques (a1), James R. Dick (a1), Douglas R. Tocher (a1) and J. Gordon Bell (a1)
Abstract

In the present study, salmon products available from UK retailers were analysed to determine the levels of n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA), a key determinant of nutritional quality. There was a wide variation in the proportions and absolute contents of EPA and DHA in the products. Relatively high contents of 18 : 1n-9, 18 : 2n-6 and 18 : 3n-3, characteristic of vegetable oils (VO), were found in several farmed salmon products, which also had generally lower proportions of EPA and DHA. In contrast, farmed salmon products with higher levels of 16 : 0 and 22 : 1, characteristic of fish oil (FO), had higher proportions of EPA and DHA. Therefore, there was a clear correlation between the levels of VO and FO in feeds and the proportions of n-3 LC-PUFA in products. Although wild salmon products were characterised by higher proportions of n-3 LC-PUFA (20–40 %) compared with farmed fish (9–26 %), they contained lower total lipid contents (1–6 % compared with 7–17 % in farmed salmon products). As a result, farmed salmon products invariably had higher levels of n-3 LC-PUFA in absolute terms (g/100 g fillet) and, therefore, delivered a higher ‘dose’ of EPA and DHA per portion. Overall, despite the finite and limiting supply of FO and increasing use of VO, farmed salmon continue to be an excellent source of and delivery system for n-3 LC-PUFA to consumers.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Professor J. G. Bell, email g.j.bell@stir.ac.uk
References
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