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Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Volume 103, 2021, 104118

Essential mineral content variations in commercial marine species induced by ecological and taxonomical attributes

Manuel J. Rodriguesa, Flávio Francoa, Filipe Martinhoa, Lina Carvalhob, Maria E. Pereirac, João P. Coelhod, Miguel A. Pardala

Centre for Functional Ecology - Science for People & the Planet (CFE), Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal.


Seafood is one of the most traded food commodities and its consumption is highly recommended since it is an excellent source of minerals for humans. This work reports the essential mineral content of 96 marine species from the Northeast Atlantic and clarifies how taxonomical and ecological attributes (i.e. feeding mode and vertical distribution in the water column) shape their mineral composition. In general, potassium (296 to 5410 mg kg-1 ww), phosphorus (645–4500 mg kg-1 ww), and sodium (230–7410 mg kg-1 ww) were the most abundant macrominerals, while zinc (2.1–1670 mg kg-1 ww), iron (0.92–468 mg kg-1 ww), and copper (0.061–318 mg kg-1 ww) were the most abundant microminerals in the species studied. Differences in the mineral content of taxonomic, feeding mode, and vertical distribution groups were found, which were attributed to a combination of specific characteristics and physiological requirements, diet composition and bioavailability of minerals in the surrounding environment (water and sediments). Element-dense groups were also identified according to their mineral content, which can enable better informed choices regarding human nutrition.

Keywords: Mineral elements, Seafood, Species attributes, Food analysis, Food composition, Food quality, Human health.

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