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Chemistry and Ecology
              August 2006, Vol. 22 (Supplement 1), pp. S173–S179

               Chemical composition and nutritional value of some marine
                                 species from the Egadi Islands

                                       MARILENA SANFILIPPO†

                             †Gaia Soc. Coop., Contrada Citola 13 98168 Messina, Italy
                       ‡Department of Organic and Biologic Chemistry, University of Messina, Italy
                                     §Consorzio Mediterraneo, Rome, Italy

                                (Received 15 February 2005; in final form 7 March 2006)
  Downloaded At: 20:22 7 January 2011  from the Mediterranean Sea is very limited. In this study, the target species were Scorpaena porcus,
                   Information available on the chemical composition and nutritional value of marine species harvested
                   Scorpaena scrofa, Palinurus elephas, and Sepia officinalis, selected among those with the greatest
                   commercial value and caught using local traditional gear. Samples were analysed for moisture, ash,
                   protein, total lipid content, and for fatty acid percentage distribution. All the species showed high
                   amounts of proteins (mean value 18.15%) and can be considered lean (fat content <3%), with a
                   high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids of the n-3 series. Significant differences (P< 0.05) were
                   observed among the different species for some of the most representative fatty acids. All species
                   (except S. officinalis) had a good value for the prevention of cardiac illnesses as can be deduced from
                   their low atherogenic and thrombogenic indexes.
                   Keywords: Egadi Islands; Chemical composition; Nutritional value; Atherogenic index; Thrombo-
                   genic index

              1. Introduction

              Seafood is an important constituent in the human diet and is a valid alternative to other food
              products [1]. In fact, from a nutritional point of view, fish is considered a precious food for
              its easy digestibility, high mineral, vitamin, and protein content, and composition of lipid
              fraction [2]. Animal experiments show that fatty acids from n-3 fish oils are stored in the
              cell membranes of heart cells and can prevent sudden cardiac death or fatal arrhythmias.
              Excessive Na and Ca currents in the heart can cause dangerous and erratic changes in the heart
              rhythm. Studies of individual heart cells demonstrated that the n-3 essential polyunsaturated
              fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) specifically block these excessive electrical discharges [3], so the
              high-n-3 PUFAs mean that fish is a particularly good food for the prevention of some complex

                *Corresponding author. Email:
                                          Chemistry and Ecology
                       ISSN 0275-7540 print/ISSN 1029-0370 online © 2006 Taylor & Francis
                                     DOI: 10.1080/02757540600679290
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