Micronutrient Composition of 35 Food Fishes from India and Their Significance in Human Nutrition


The micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are required in small amounts but are essential for health, development, and growth. Micronutrient deficiencies, which affect over two billion people around the globe, are the leading cause of many ailments including mental retardation, preventable blindness, and death during childbirth. Fish is an important dietary source of micronutrients and plays important role in human nutrition. In the present investigation, micronutrient composition of 35 food fishes (includes both finfishes and shellfishes) was investigated from varying aquatic habitats. Macrominerals (Na, K, Ca, Mg) and trace elements (Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Se) were determined by either atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)/atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Phosphorus content was determined either spectrophotometrically or by ICP-AES. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The analysis showed that, in general, the marine fishes were rich in sodium and potassium; small indigenous fishes (SIFs) in calcium, iron, and manganese; coldwater fishes in selenium; and the brackishwater fishes in phosphorous. The marine fishes Sardinella longiceps and Epinephelus spp. and the SIFs were rich in all fat-soluble vitamins. All these recommendations were made according to the potential contribution (daily value %) of the species to the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Information on the micronutrients generated would enhance the utility of fish in both community and clinical nutrition.

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This work was supported by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Fisheries Science Division under Outreach Activity on Nutrient Profiling and Evaluation of fish as a Dietary Component (ICAR-FSD-OA#3). The authors are thankful to the Directors of the participating research institutes under the Fisheries Science Division, ICAR viz. CIFRI, Barrackpore; CIFA, Bhubaneswar; CIBA, Chennai; CIFT, Cochin; CMFRI, Cochin; CIFE, Mumbai; and DCFR, Bhimtal, for facilities and support. The authors are thankful to Dr. S. Ayyappan, former Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR; Dr. B. Meenakumari, former DDG (Fisheries Science); Dr. S. D Singh, former ADG (Inland Fisheries) and Dr. Madan Mohan, former ADG (Marine Fisheries) for the encouragement and support.

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Correspondence to Bimal P. Mohanty.

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Mohanty, B.P., Sankar, T.V., Ganguly, S. et al. Micronutrient Composition of 35 Food Fishes from India and Their Significance in Human Nutrition. Biol Trace Elem Res 174, 448–458 (2016) doi:10.1007/s12011-016-0714-3

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  • Micronutrients
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Food fishes