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Water, lipid and protein content in various fish species vary greatly, as outlined in the table below.

The lipid fraction is the component with the greatest variation. Often, the fluctuations within a fish species will display a characteristic seasonal curve with a minimum around the time of spawning.

Although the protein fraction is rather constant in most species, changes have been observed, such as the protein reduction occurring in salmon during long spawning migrations and in Baltic cod during the spawning season.

The carbohydrate content in fish muscle is very low, usually below 0.5 percent. This is typical for striated muscle, where carbohydrate occurs in glycogen and as part of the chemical constituents of nucleotides. The latter is the source of freed ribose after post mortem autolytic changes.

Aquacultured fish can also vary in composition, although more predictably because several factors are controlled. In fact, a fish farmer is able to design, to some extent, the composition of the fish by selecting the farming conditions - the feed composition being the single most pronounced factor to have an impact on the composition of the cultured fish.

Chemical composition of fillets of various fish species

Species

Scientific name Water % Lipid % Protein % Energy value
(kJ/ 100 g)

Blue
whiting

Micromesistiu
poutassou
79-80 1.9-3.0 13.8-15.9 314-388

Cod

Gadus morhua 78-83 0.1-0.9 15.0-19.0 295-332

Eel

Anguilla anguilla 60-71 8.0-31.0 14.4

 

Herring

Clupea harengus 60-80 0.4-22.0 16.0-19.0

 

Plaice

Pleuronectes
platessa
81 1.1-3.6 15.7-17.8 332-452

Salmon

Salmo salar 67-77 0.3-14.0 21.5

 

Trout

Salmo trutta 70-79 1.2-10.8 18.8-19.1

 

Tuna

Thunnus spp. 71 4.1 25.2 581

Norway lobster

Nephrops
norvegicus
77 0.6-2.0 19.5 369

Pejerrey

Basilichthys
bornariensis
80 0.7-3.6 17.3-17.9

 

Carp

Cyprinus
carpio
81.6 2.1 16.0

 

Sabalo

Prochilodus
platensis
67.0 4.3 23.4

 

Pacu

Colossoma
macropomum
67.1 18.0 14.1

 

Tambaqui

Colossoma
brachypomum
69.3 15.6 15.8

 

Chincuiña

Pseudoplatystoma
tigrinum
70.8 8.9 15.8

 

Corvina

Plagioscion
squamosissimus
67.9 5.9 21.7

 

Bagré

Ageneiosus spp. 79.0 3.7 14.8

 

 

 
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