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Seafood, nutrition and human health: A synopsis of the nutritional benefits of consuming seafood.



Seafood as a whole food is highly nutritious. Benefits to human health associated with the consumption of seafood are noted for multiple bodily organs and physiological functions. Seafood compares favourably with other protein sources as it offers superior macronutrients in the ideal form of lean proteins combined with healthy omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs), and a wide array of highly bioavailable micronutrients. This exposition investigates the role of key nutrients present in seafood on human health. Particular focus is placed on marine sourced omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins A, B12, D and E, iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc and iron. Centre of Excellence Science, Seafood & Health, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth.
Prepared by
Centre of Excellence Science Seafood &
Health (CESSH)
Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute
Curtin University of Technology
March 2011
Seafood, nutrition and
human health
A synopsis of the nutritional benefits of consuming seafood
Professor Alexandra McManus
Director, Centre of Excellence Science Seafood & Health (CESSH)
Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute
Faculty of Health Sciences
Curtin University of Technology
Dr Wendy Newton
Post Doctoral Scientist
Centre of Excellence Science Seafood & Health (CESSH)
Preferred citation:
McManus A, Newton W. Seafood, nutrition and human health: A synopsis of the nutritional benefits of
consuming seafood. Centre of Excellence Science, Seafood & Health, Curtin Health Innovation Research
Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth. 2011.
Seafood, nutrition and human health
A synopsis of the nutritional benefits of consuming seafood
1.0 Abstract 1
2.0 Introduction 1
3.0 Nutrients found in seafood 1
3.1 Marine sourced omega 3 fatty acids 1
3.2 Protein 2
3.3 Vitamin D 2
3.4 Iodine 2
3.5 Selenium 3
3.6 Calcium 3
3.7 Vitamin B12 3
3.8 Vitamin A 3
3.9 Vitamin E 4
3.10 Zinc 4
3.11 Iron 4
4.0 Discussion 4
References 5
Table of contents
1.0 Abstract
Seafood as a whole food is highly nutritious. Benefits to human health associated with the consumption of seafood are noted for
multiple bodily organs and physiological functions. Seafood compares favourably with other protein sources as it offers superior
macronutrients in the ideal form of lean proteins combined with healthy omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-
PUFAs), and a wide array of highly bioavailable micronutrients.
This exposition investigates the role of key nutrients present in seafood on human health. Particular focus is placed on marine sourced
omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins A, B12, D and E, iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc and iron.
2.0 Introduction
In the 1950’s it was noted that Eskimos native to Greenland had a low incidence of heart disease despite having a diet high in oil.
Furthermore, observational studies of Alaskan and Greenland Eskimo and Japanese populations revealed lower incidence and
morbidity associated with coronary heart disease (1). Consequently, there has been intense interest in the health benefits associated
with marine sourced omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs). Mounting evidence has shown that the
consumption of marine n-3 LC-PUFAs, fish, seafood or fish oils has been positively linked with cognitive development and a reduced
risk of chronic conditions including coronary heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and Alzheimer’s
Disease (2).
While the health benefits of n-3 LC-PUFAs are now widely accepted, the benefits of fish or seafood consumption have largely been
obscured by the intense interest in n-3 LC-PUFA fortified foods and supplements. Food products fortified with n-3 LC-PUFAs abound
in the market place and the growth in the popularity of fish oil supplements has been extraordinary. Fish or seafood as whole foods
provide health benefits beyond those that can be attributed to n-3 LC-PUFAs alone. Furthermore, the superior bioavailability of
nutrients in seafood leads to the conclusion that seafood as a whole food is among the best dietary source of many nutrients (3).
This resource summarises the range of macro and micronutrients in seafood with a view to promoting the consumption of fish and
seafood as whole foods that are highly valuable to a balanced diet.
3.0 Nutrients found in seafood
3.1 Marine sourced omega 3 fatty acids
The there is mounting evidence of health benefits associated with ingestion of n-3 LC-PUFAs. These include brain and retinal
fetal development, cognitive development, mental health improvements (depression, schitzophrenia, dementia and attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder), lower risk of coronary heart disease and protection against heart arrhythmia, greater plaque
stability and anti-thombosis properties (4). Additionally, there is evidence of the role of n-3 LC-PUFAs in maintaining immune
function and reducing inflammation for the treatment of all forms of inflammatory arthritis (4). Marine sourced n-3 LC-PUFAs
are found in all seafood with the richest source being oily fish.
Marine sourced n-3 LC-PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are the important fatty acids
for which substantial scientific support for health benefit exists. EPA and DHA may be converted at a very low rate from plant
sources of a shorter chain omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linoleic acid (ALA); recent reviews however conclude that supplementation
with ALA is not effective in raising blood DHA levels (5). Conversion rates of ALA to EPA and DHA are typically low and are
influenced by background dietary lipid profiles (6). Consumption of preformed EPA and DHA from marine food sources is the
most efficacious method to increase physiological status of EPA and DHA for the purpose of achieving the documented health
benefits associated with these n-3 LC-PUFAs.
Despite the commercial popularity of n-3 LC-PUFA fortified foods and supplements, recent research indicates bioavailability of
supplements varies dramatically (7). The shelf life of omega 3 fortified foods and supplements has been questioned in light of
their susceptibility to oxidation and further, the safety concerns about the peroxides and other products of oxidation (8) .
3.0 Nutrients found in seafood (contd.)
3.2 Protein
The importance of protein is now recognised as being more complex than long realised roles of maintenance of bodily
structures including muscles, bones, fingernails and hair. Protein, peptides and amino acid derivatives are important
components in bone health, regulation of body composition, glucose metabolism, satiety, cell signalling, gastrointestinal
health and bacterial flora (9).
Quality of protein has traditionally been assessed through the amino acid content, ratio of amino acids, source, susceptibility
hydrolysis during digestion and the influence of any processing carried out (10). Animal sourced dietary proteins tend to be
complete sources of protein in that they contain the full complement of essential amino acids. Fish protein tends to be high in
lysine, sulphur containing amino acids and threonine; these amino acids are limiting in cereal based diets and add significance
to the quality of fish and seafood protein sources.
Evidence suggests a link between high levels of red and processed meat consumption and bowel cancer (11). In contrast,
there is mounting evidence that consumption of seafood can be protective against some cancers (2). Further, consumption
of seafood protein has been associated with increased insulin sensitivity in diabetics (12-13), reduced inflammation (14)
and animal studies are consistently revealing that seafood protein results in lower blood pressure (15-18). Most commonly
consumed items of seafood are rich in complete protein.
3.3 Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be obtained from sunlight or dietary sources. Vitamin D is important in regulating calcium and phosphorous
in bone mineralization. Vitamin D also features in thyroid function, rennin and insulin production, immunity, skin condition,
muscle strength and has been linked to the prevention of some cancers (19-20). The roles of vitamin D in regulating bone
mineralization and adsorption of calcium inherently makes vitamin D important in the prevention of osteoporosis. As seafood
is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, research has found that increasing consumption of seafood in the diet significantly
improves bone mineral density in women(19).
Widespread awareness of the link between sun exposure and skin cancer in Australia and New Zealand has diminished vitamin
D obtained from the sun. Sunscreen and clothing act as a barrier preventing not only sun damage but also the synthesis of
vitamin D (20). Vitamin D deficiency and rickets (osteomalacia) are a current concern in paediatric health in Australia and
New Zealand (21). Additionally, at risk populations including dark-skinned individuals, the elderly, the infirm who have
limited mobility, and those who cover themselves due to adherence to religious beliefs, are especially susceptible to vitamin D
deficiency and may need an alternative source of this essential vitamin.
The food chain of marine animals concentrates vitamin D and makes seafood the best dietary source of vitamin D (22).
Although, seafood consumption can be beneficial in raising vitamin D levels, diet in isolation is unlikely to supply the
recommended daily requirement for vitamin D (23); some sunlight exposure is recommended. Standard 2.4.2 of the Australian
and New Zealand Food Standards Code specifies a minimal level of vitamin D to be contained in edible oils and spreads in an
effort to boost dietary vitamin D in the general populace (24). Prevention of vitamin D deficiency can be achieved with a diet
high in oily fish (20).
3.4 Iodine
Iodine deficiency disorders are diverse and include metal and physical disorders that can be debilitating (25). Iodine is vital
for the effective functioning of the thyroid gland and thyroid hormone production thereby having profound influence on
facilitating normal growth, metabolism, cell oxygen consumption and the development of the central nervous system.
Historically, iodine deficiency occurred in areas where the soil was low in iodine content and endemic goitre would be noted
in local populations. Until recently, the trade in fresh produce in modern times had overcome geographic soil limitations.
In contrast to the early 1990s where the iodine status of Australians was satisfactory, the iodine intake of the Australian
population was recently considered inadequate, prompting calls for iodine fortification of all edible salts (25). The primary
reason behind the decrease in iodine status over the last two decades has been the growth in popularity of chlorine based
cleaning products in dairies and their preferential use over iodine based products (25). October 2009 heralded a change to the
Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code; Standard 2.1.1 now mandates that all salt used in bread making must be
iodized. Recent mandatory fortification of The NHMRC has recommended that ‘women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or
considering pregnancy take an iodine supplement of 150μg each day (26).
Iodine is found in most seafood, with shellfish containing the most abundant quantities. Further, fish and seafood have the
highest concentration of iodine relative to other foods commonly consumed in most diets (27). Seafood as a part of a healthy
diet will improve iodine status.
3.0 Nutrients found in seafood (contd.)
3.5 Selenium
Selenium plays an important role in the body. Selenium prevents cellular damage and is protective against oxidative stress (28).
Selenium also assists in regulating the function of the thyroid and supports healthy immune function. Selenium deficiency is
more likely to occur in areas such as New Zealand due to reduced selenium levels in the soil. Low soil levels of selenium results
in reduced selenium throughout the agricultural food chain.
Selenium is present in most finfish. Selenium in fish is highly bioavailable suggesting that fish is a superior source of dietary
selenium relative to other sources including yeast (29). Recent research comparing a diet that includes salmon and one that
includes salmon oil capsules, revealed that consumption of fish oil supplements deprived subjects of the dietary benefit of
selenium (30).
Further to the nutritional benefit of selenium consumption, there is a growing foundation of research suggesting that
selenium acts as a counteractive agent to mercury (28, 31-33). Studies have shown that when test organisms are exposed to
toxic levels of mercury, an equal dose of selenium can substantially reduce the detrimental effects. It is possible that concerns
of methylmercury accumulation in some fish populations may be moderated by selenium.
3.6 Calcium
Calcium is important for developing and maintaining bones and teeth as well as supporting the healthy functioning of
muscles, nerves and the heart. Skeletal calcium serves as a reservoir for the supply of calcium for other body functions such as
intracellular messaging(34) and as such after a long latency period, calcium deficiency results in osteoporosis (35). Adequate
dietary calcium is required throughout life to prevent low bone mineral density, increased risk of fragility fractures and
osteoporosis at a mature age (34).
Bony fish such as sardines and tinned salmon are very rich in calcium. Intakes of seafood greater than 250g per week, have
been associated with greater bone mineral density (19). Of note however, is that calcium adsorption is dependent on adequate
vitamin D and can be reduced by dietary interactions including dietary fibre and alcohol (34). It can be construed from
evidence that seafood can promote bone density when consumed within an otherwise healthy diet due to the susceptibility of
calcium to macro and micro nutrient interactions.
3.7 Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is important to DNA synthesis, red blood cell and neurological function. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can be
associated with megoblastic anaemia, neurological disorders, myelopathy, memory impairment, dementia, depression and
cerebrovascular disorders (36).
Most fish and shellfish contain vitamin B12. Clams, octopus, oysters, fish and fish roe are excellent sources of vitamin B12 (37).
Dietary intake of fish has been linked to significant improvements in plasma B12 status (36). Researchers have identified that
dietary vitamin B12 sourced from fish and a dairy product is more bioavailable than that from meat and eggs (36).
3.8 Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays an important role in supporting normal vision, reproduction, bone growth, immune functions and healthful
maintenance of the eye, respiratory and urinary tract linings, the skin and mucous membranes (38). Deficiency in vitamin A
is associated with increased infections from diarrhoea to respiratory infections. In developing countries supplementation can
prevent approximately a quarter of childhood deaths (38).
Most fish and shellfish contain Vitamin A though the best marine sources are oily fish. Animal sourced vitamin A is in the fat
soluble retinol that is converted to an active form such as retinal or retinoic acid; these are efficiently adsorbed and used by
the body (38). Plant sources of vitamin A are the water soluble pigment group of carotenoids. Carotenoids are less efficiently
adsorbed than preformed retinol (38)and are subject to a conversion factor when calculating retinol equivalents.
3.0 Nutrients found in seafood (contd.)
3.9 Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a highly efficacious antioxidant that is important to the skin, nervous system, heart and circulatory system.
Although deficiency in vitamin E is uncommon, the various forms of vitamin E are protective of vitamins A and C by preventing
their oxidation (38). Vitamin E is found in oils, nuts and green leafy vegetables (38); the highest marine source of vitamin E is
oily fish.
3.10 Zinc
While only small amounts of this essential trace element are required, zinc acts as a catalyst for over 100 specific enzymes
necessary for human metabolism (38). Zinc plays a role in optimal growth and development and functioning of the immune
system. Zinc deficiency may result in stunted growth, vulnerability to infection and pregnancy outcomes (38).
Widespread zinc deficiency is an issue affecting Australian arable land (39), and thus crops raised in Australia may not
continue to contribute significantly to human zinc requirements. Consequently, alternative sources such as zinc rich food
should be consumed so that optimal zinc levels are met and maintained. As zinc binds to protein, foods such as seafood, which
are sources of both zinc and protein, optimise bioavailability of dietary zinc (39). Oysters are known to be one of the richest
natural sources of zinc.
3.11 Iron
Iron plays a vital role in facilitating the transportation of oxygen throughout the body within the haemoglobin complex and is
associated with growth, healing and immune function. It is also critical for energy production within cells and DNA synthesis.
Research suggests that Australian women in particular may not be consuming adequate iron, and increasing the consumption
of iron rich seafood within a balanced diet can play an important role in addressing this imbalance (40). Heam iron, found in
seafood and animal sources is more readily bioavailable than non- heam sourced from plants.
4.0 Summary
The value of seafood within a healthy diet is clear from this overview of nutritional composition. Evidence on the health benefit of
marine sourced omega 3 fatty acids is mounting with the strongest evidence associated with DHA. Conversion of plant sourced omega
3 PUFAs is less effective in producing the health benefits. It is unlikely that the average consumer is aware of the differentiation in
function and education of the general public is required.
The importance of seafood as a whole food, in addition to n-3 LC-PUFA, cannot be underestimated. Seafood offers a range of nutrients
that are frequently under-represented in habitual diets, including iodine, calcium, vitamin D, zinc and iron.
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... source of iodine as authorized by the European Commission (2021) ( Table 3). Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which are necessary for protein synthesis and enzymatic activity, and are critical determinants of metabolic activity (McManus & Newton, 2011). Likewise, selenium plays vital roles in many metabolic responses, such as reproduction, DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection (Aakre et al., 2019). ...
... Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) is a highly efficient membrane-bound antioxidant important for the skin, nervous system, heart, and circulatory system (McManus & Newton, 2011). The viscera + belly flap containing the highest level of tocopherol among the five cuts (Fig. 3A) may partly be related to the liver being the primary organ that accumulates α-tocopherol to maintain the α-tocopherol status of other organs and tissues (Hamre, 2011). ...
... Vitamin B12 is well recognized as being necessary for DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, and neurological function (Ozogul et al., 2021). Deficiency of this vitamin can be associated with megaloblastic anemia, neurological disorders, myelopathy, and memory impairment (McManus & Newton, 2011). Our data revealed that all four co-product cuts showed similar amounts of vitamin B12 as the fillets, and the identified values were identical to those reported by the Swedish National Food Agency (SLV, 2021) for herring fillets (8.79 μg/100 g ww). ...
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Weight distribution, proximate composition, fatty acids, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins were investigated in five sorted cuts (head, backbone, viscera + belly flap, tail, fillet) emerging during filleting of spring and fall herring (Clupea harengus). The herring co-product cuts constituted ∼60% of the whole herring weight, with backbone and head dominating. Substantial amounts of lipids (5.8-17.6% wet weight, ww) and proteins (12.8-19.2% ww) were identified in the co-products, the former being higher in fall than in spring samples. Co-product cuts contained up to 43.1% long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) of total FA, absolute levels peaking in viscera+belly flap. All cuts contained high levels of essential amino acids (up to 43.3%), nutritional minerals (e.g., iodine, selenium, calcium, and iron/heme-iron), and vitamins E, D, and B12. Co-products were, in many cases, more nutrient-rich than the fillet and could be excellent sources for both (functional) food and nutraceuticals.
... Balık ve diğer su ürünleri proteini tüketimi, diyabet hastalarında artan insülin duyarlılığı ve azaltılmış enflamasyon ile ilişkilendirilmektedir. Hayvan çalışmaları, deniz ürünleri proteininin daha düşük kan basıncı ile sonuçlandığını sürekli olarak ortaya koymaktadır (McManus, 2011). Yapılan çalışmalar sonucunda dikkatler genel olarak balık yağlarının kardiyovasküler hastalıklar üzerindeki faydalarına odaklanmış olsa da, diyetle alınan balıkların önemli kısmı proteinden oluşmaktadır (Undeland vd., 2009). ...
... Yapılan çalışmalar sonucunda dikkatler genel olarak balık yağlarının kardiyovasküler hastalıklar üzerindeki faydalarına odaklanmış olsa da, diyetle alınan balıkların önemli kısmı proteinden oluşmaktadır (Undeland vd., 2009). Deniz ürünleri kas yapısı serbest aminoasitler de dâhil olmak üzere suda çözünür bileşikler açısından oldukça zengindir (McManus, 2011). Kabukluların ve yumuşakçaların özellikle zengin olduğu taurinin, safra tuzu oluşumundaki rolünün bir sonucu olarak tek başına veya omega-3 yağ asitleriyle kombinasyon halinde kardiyovasküler hastalık riskini azalttığı tespit edilmiştir. ...
... There has been a growing body of research on the association between maternal antenatal intake of seafood and fish and perinatal mental health, owing to the health benefits of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) stored in these foods [9, 10, 11••]. The n-3 PUFA is an important dietary component known for its cardio-and neuro-protective effects [12][13][14][15]. Emerging evidence also suggests that n-3 PUFA intake has beneficial effects on pregnant women's mental health [16,17]. ...
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Purpose of ReviewPregnant women are vulnerable to mental health problems. Increasing evidence shows that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) intake during pregnancy is beneficial to maternal perinatal mental health. A systematic review is needed to examine the associations reported in recent studies. The objective of this review was to provide an updated review on the association of antenatal n-3 PUFA intake via different sources (seafood, fish, overall diet, and supplementation) with perinatal mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and psychological distress.Recent FindingsSearches were performed in Web of Science, Embase, PubMed, and APA PsycInfo databases on 21 June 2021. A total of 2133 records were screened. Data including the name of the first author, publication year, study design, sample characteristics, dietary assessment time and tools, mental health outcome measures, and other relevant information were extracted. In total, 13 articles were included in this review and assessed qualitatively. The results demonstrated that dietary intake of n-3 PUFA during pregnancy was associated with perinatal mental health, but the effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation was influenced by pre-existing medical conditions, socio-demographic characteristics, and dietary and lifestyle patterns during pregnancy.SummaryOur review found that sources of n-3 PUFA may have differential effects on woman’s mental health during and after pregnancy. Further research using large-size cohort or well-controlled trial protocol is needed to determine the effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation during pregnancy on perinatal mental health.
... Many studies have proven that public health quality could be improved by good nutritional quality. Seafood or fisheries products also contain various nutrients and nutritious vitamins humans need (Hosomi, Yoshida, & Fukunaga, 2012;McManus A & W, 2011;Toppe, 2016). Therefore, it is essential for Global Waqf-ACT as a productive waqf manager to provide high-quality and nutritious seafood to impact society significantly. ...
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Waqf is one of the financial instruments in Islamic economics besides Zakat. Currently, the management of waqf funds has intensified by the Government and Islamic financial institutions because of its enormous potential in Indonesia. One of them is the Productive Seafood Waqf program implemented by Global Waqf-ACT. However, studies on productive waqf, especially those that discuss the agricultural sector in improving the fishers' economy, are still minimal. Therefore, this qualitative explanatory research aims to formulate a productive seafood waqf scheme implemented by Global Waqf-ACT that could help the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The result shows that productive seafood waqf could provide more benefits, especially for the anglers in the agricultural sector. Another benefit that can be achieved is the productive seafood waqf managed by Global Waqf-ACT also supports several main points in the SDGs, such as no poverty and hunger, providing good health, life below water, and partnership for the goals.
... Fish farming can help address global food issues. When aquaculture is done in a sustainable manner, it creates a source of protein that is healthy (McManus et al., 2011), relieves pressure on overfished wild fish populations, and can create sustainable jobs in the aquaculture sector and support industries across many areas of the country (Botta et al., 2021;Broughton et al., 2013). ...
... Consumer preference for food has been primarily associated with its nutritional composition and taste profile (Zheng et al., 2015). Seafood could provide superior macronutrients, such as essential amino acid (EAA), n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), and several bioavailable micronutrients (McManus & Newton, 2011). However, high bacterial communities that thrive in oysters deteriorate the quality of raw with long-term transportation to the hinterlands (Chen et al., 2017). ...
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Abstract Oysters have high nutritional value but are rare in processing products. In this study, we developed an innovative product of oyster combined with soybean paste. The processing conditions and flavoring formulations of canned oysters were optimized using orthogonal experiments. Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HP-SPME) combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was applied to evaluate the volatile compounds related to the aroma. The results showed that the optimal canned oyster was oyster dried at 90 °C for 20 min and oil-fried at 150 °C for 6 min with the adding flavoring formula of 20% soybean paste, 0.5% vinegar, and 0.01% I+G (disodium 5'-presenting nucleotide) based on the weight of oyster. Canned soybean paste oysters enrich volatile components related to aroma including 2-octanol, 2-furanmethanol, benzaldehyde, and 2-pentylfuran. The canned soybean paste oyster is a high-valued nutrient including protein, fat, zinc, and taurine. This study will provide processing conditions for favorite instant processed oysters with soybean paste supplementary and deep insight into the flavor formation.
Food authenticity is a rapidly growing field due to increasing consumer concerns about food safety and quality. Food authenticity is a key tool for ensuring food safety, quality, and consumer protection, as well as complying with national laws, international standards, and other regulations. Meat and meat products, eggs, fish, and seafood are some of the important food groups with a high incidence of fraudulent activities. Food fraud has become more relevant with increased damaging potential in a globalized food supply chain, as evidenced by a recent string of adulteration incidents in these food products that resulted in significant economic and health costs. As a result, there is an imperative need for accurate standardized food authentication methodologies. Due to the chemical complexity of foodstuffs and the high consumer demand for food quality and authenticity, high-resolution chromatographic techniques, such as gas chromatography (GC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS), have emerged as useful food authentication tools. This chapter reviews the emerging food authentication methodologies using GC/MS for the authentication of meat, eggs, fish, and seafood.KeywordsFood authenticationFood safetyConsumer protectionGas chromatographyMass spectrometryFood productsMeat speciesAnalytical approaches
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A significant impact of marine pollution is the contamination of seafood which has raised concerns due to its potential human health risks. This current study investigated seasonal bioaccumulation of 9 heavy metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in 14 commercially important seafood species, including 4 fish, 5 molluscs, and 5 crustacean species. Samples were collected from Pattani Bay, Pattani province, Thailand, during the dry (July 2020) and wet (February 2021) seasons. The edible samples were analyzed for heavy metal concentrations using a flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The bioaccumulation trend of heavy metals decreased in the sequence of molluscs > crustaceans > fish. The possible human health risks associated with heavy metal-contaminated seafood consumption were assessed. The parameters investigated for non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic were target hazard quotient (THQ), total hazard index (HI), and target cancer risk (TR). The average ranges of THQs (7.79 × 10−8–8.97 × 10−3), HIs (4.30 × 10−5–1.55 × 10−2), and TRs (2.70 × 10−9–1.34 × 10−5) were observed in the studied seafood species. The results revealed no non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health risks from consuming these 14 kinds of seafood.
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Recently, a new pearl oyster Pinctada fucata martensii strain has begun to be cultured as seafood. In the present study, the seasonal variation (February and June) in biochemical composition and flavor compounds in two P. f. martensii strains (strain for pearl production was abbreviated to PP, and seafood was abbreviated to PE) were detected to compare the nutritional and flavor differences between them, and to provide a reference for the seasonal preference of consumers for eating P. f. martensii. The ratio of soft tissues in PE-Feb was significantly higher than that in PP-Feb (p < 0.05). The contents of ash, crude protein, and crude lipid were higher in PP than those in PE in the same season, while significantly higher contents of glycogen in the PE strain were observed compared to the PP strain in the same season (p < 0.05). The major amino acids (such as Glu and Asp) and PUFA (such as DHA and EPA) were almost the same in two P. f. martensii strains in the same season, while the contents of these nutrients were significantly higher in February compared to June (p < 0.05). Taurine content in PE-Feb was the highest (19.58 mg/g wet weight), followed by PP-Jun, PP-Feb, and PE-Jun. The umami and sweet FAA contents of the same P. f. martensii strain in February were significantly higher than those in June (p < 0.05). The AMP content in PP-Jun was the highest (64.17 mg/100 g wet weight), followed by PP-Feb, PE-Jun, and PE-Feb. Succinic acid was the major organic acid, and its content in February was significantly higher than in June (p < 0.05). The betaine content in PP-Feb was the highest (23.02 mg/g of wet weight), followed by PE-Feb (20.43 mg/g of wet weight), PP-Jun (16.28 mg/g of wet weight), and PE-Jun (12.33 mg/g of wet weight), and significant differences were observed among these four groups (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the edible P. f. martensii strain harvest in February is rich in protein, glycogen, PUFA (DHA and EPA), taurine, succinic acid, and betaine, which could provide healthy nutrition and a good flavor for humans.
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The health and well being of children depend upon the interaction between their genetic potential and exogenous factors like adequacy of nutrition, safety of the environment, social interaction and stimulation. Micronutrients which are nutrients that are only needed by the body in minute amounts play leading roles in the production of enzymes, hormones and other substances and also help to regulate growth activity, development and functioning of the immune and reproductive systems. Micronutrient deficiency, which has been considered as a major risk factor in child survival in Nigeria, increases the risk of death from common diseases such as acute gastroenteritis, pneumonia and measles. Dietary practices frequently seen in children from both developed and developing countries such as frequent consumption of nutrient-poor foods (as unhealthy snacks), and the "refusal" to take green leafy vegetables and fruits compromise their intake of micronutrients (such as zinc, iodine, vitamin A, iron, folate and selenium) from dietary sources. This paper reviews the role of micronutrients in child health and the importance of consuming green leafy vegetables, soy beans, seasonal fruits, milk, dairy products, fish, eggs, chicken and other food stuffs. The consumption of these foods will prevent the occurrence of common day to day infections in children, enable the society produce healthy children with solid foundation and ensure optimal human resource development.
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Limited information is available on the association between vitamin B-12 status and intake from different dietary sources. We investigated the relation of dietary intake of different food items with plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations in the general population. A cross-sectional, population-based study of 5937 subjects in 2 age groups (47-49 and 71-74 y) from the Hordaland Homocysteine Study in Norway was conducted by using a food-frequency questionnaire and measurements of plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations. A significant difference in plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations was observed with increasing total vitamin B-12 intake. A plateau was reached at an intake of approximately 10 microg/d. Plasma vitamin B-12 was associated with intakes of increasing amounts of vitamin B-12 from dairy products or fish (P for trend <0.001 for both) but not with intakes of vitamin B-12 from meat or eggs. For the same content of vitamin B-12, intake from dairy products led to the greatest increase in plasma vitamin B-12. Total intake of vitamin B-12, particularly from milk and fish, decreased the risk of vitamin B-12 concentrations <200 pmol/L and impaired vitamin B-12 function (vitamin B-12 <200 pmol/L and methylmalonic acid >0.27 micromol/L) in the total group and in 71-74-y-old subjects. Dietary intake of dairy products and fish are significant contributors to plasma vitamin B-12 and may improve plasma vitamin B-12 status. Vitamin B-12 appears to be more bioavailable from dairy products; guidelines for improving vitamin B-12 status should take this into consideration.
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During the last decades, fish and milk consumption has decreased considerably in Iceland, especially among adolescents. As these food items are important dietary iodine (I) sources, the aim of the study was to assess the iodine status and dietary pattern of adolescent girls in a population changing from a high to lower consumption of milk and fish. Subjects were randomly selected adolescent girls (16-20 years old, n=112). A validated Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) was used to evaluate food consumption and compare it with food-based dietary guidelines for milk and dairy products (2-3 portions/day) and fish (> or =2 times/week). Urine samples were collected for measuring urinary iodine (U-I) and creatinine (Cr) and blood samples for measuring serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Milk and dairy products provided 43% and fish provided 24% of the total dietary I. More than 65% of the girls consumed fish less than twice a week, and 40% consumed less than two portions of milk and dairy products per day. The median U-I concentration was 200 microg/l and the U-I/Cr ratio 138 microg I/g Cr. High intake of milk was associated with higher urinary iodine concentration, but fish intake was not found to be directly associated with urinary iodine concentration. Iodine status of Icelandic adolescent girls is within the optimal range defined by the World Health Organization. It is important to monitor both iodine status and the iodine concentration of important sources of iodine, as both dietary habits and composition of food might change with time.
Technical Report
Review of literature and resources relating to the health benefit of regular consumption of seafood as part of a health diet (plus separate Executive Summary) Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth.
The nutritional value or quality of structurally different proteins varies and is governed by amino acid composition, ratios of essential amino acids, susceptibility to hydrolysis during digestion, source, and the effects of processing. To optimize the biological utilization of proteins, a better understanding is needed of the various interrelated parameters that influence their nutritive value. This review attempts to contribute to this effort. It discusses methods used for protein quality evaluation, research needs to facilitate labeling foods for protein quality, and factors influencing protein quality including amino acid analysis, digestion, food processing, antinutrients, and protein-energy relationships. Recent studies on the nutritional quality of more than 50 common and uncommon protein sources including cereals, legumes, other seeds, meat, seafood, insects, leaves, mushrooms, and potatoes are reviewed. Also described are advantages of consuming low-quality proteins fortified with essential amino acids, nutritional benefits of mixtures of complementary protein sources, plant genetic approaches to improving the nutritive value of foods, problems associated with liquid diets for adults and infants, socioeconomic aspects of new protein foods, and the influence of protein type and quality on lactation, the immune system, and serum lipids. This integrated overview is intended to stimulate interest in the introduction and use of new protein sources for feeding the ever-growing world population. Keywords: Amino acids; digestibility; food protein sources; health; malnutrition; mixed proteins; nutritional quality; protein quality
Numerous studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of fish consumption on inflammatory markers. Until now, these beneficial effects of fish consumption have been mostly linked to the omega-3 fatty acids (FA). The objective of the present study was to examine, in vitro, whether expression levels of genes involved in the inflammatory response differ in human macrophages incubated with casein hydrolysates (CH) or fish protein hydrolysates (FPH) in the presence or absence of omega-3 FA compared with omega-3 FA alone. Peripheral blood monocytes differentiated into macrophages from 10 men were incubated in the presence of omega-3 FA (10 microM eicosapentaenoic acid and 5 microM docosahexaenoic acid) or CH or FPH (10, 100, 1,000 microg) with or without omega-3 FA for 48 h. Results demonstrate that expression levels of tumor necrosis factoralpha (TNFalpha) had a tendency to be lower after the addition of FPH alone or CH with omega-3 FA compared with omega-3 FA treatment. Furthermore, the combination of FPH and omega-3 FA synergistically decreased expression levels of TNFalpha compared to treatment with omega-3 FA or FPH alone. No difference on gene expression levels of interleukin-6 was observed between treatments. In conclusion, these preliminary results suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of fish consumption can be explained by a synergistic effect of the omega-3 FA with the protein components of fish on TNFalpha expression and therefore contribute to the beneficial effects of fish consumption. Hence, follow-up studies should be performed to confirm the effects of a diet rich in FPH and omega-3 FA on serum proinflammatory cytokine concentrations.
The ability of selenium (Se) to moderate mercury (Hg) toxicity is well established in the literature. Mercury exposures that might otherwise produce toxic effects are counteracted by Se, particularly when Se:Hg molar ratios approach or exceed 1. We analyzed whole body Se and Hg concentrations in 468 fish representing 40 species from 137 sites across 12 western U.S. states. The fish samples were evaluated relative to a published wildlife protective Hg threshold (0.1 sg Hg x g(-1) wet wt.), the currenttissue based methylmercury (MeHg) water quality criterion (WQC) for the protection of humans (0.3 microg Hg x g(-1) wet wt) and to presumed protections against Hg toxicity when Se:Hg molar ratios are >1. A large proportion (56%) of our total fish sample exceeded the wildlife Hg threshold, whereas a smaller, but significant proportion (12%), exceeded the MeHg WQC. However, 97.5% of the total fish sample contained more Se than Hg (molar ratio >1) leaving only 2.5% with Se: Hg ratios <1. All but one of the fish with Se:Hg <1, were of the genus Ptychochelius (pikeminnow). Scientific literature on Se counteracting Hg toxicity and our finding that 97.5% of the freshwater fish in our survey have sufficient Se to potentially protect them and their consumers against Hg toxicity suggests that Se in fish tissue (Se:Hg molar ratio) must be considered when assessing the potential toxic effects of Hg.