Nutritional components of the sea cucumber Holothuria scabra
Background: Holothuria scabra is one of the most commercially important species found in the Pacific region. The sea cucumber extracts have been widely reported to have beneficial health effects. The aim of this study was to determine the nutritional compositions of H. scabra, and compare its important nutritional contents with that of other species.
Methods: The sea cucumbers were dissected, sliced into small pieces, and then freeze-dried. The nutritional compositions, including proximate composition, amino acids, fatty acids, collagen, GABA, Vitamin A, C, and E of the whole body and body wall of H. scabra, were analyzed.
Results: H. scabra contained a high quantity of protein (22.50% in whole body and 55.18% in body wall) and very low lipids (1.55% in whole body and 1.02% in body wall). The three most abundant amino acids found in both the whole body and body wall were glycine, glutamic acid, and proline. The main fatty acids found in the whole body were stearic acid and nervonic acid, and in the body wall were arachidonic acid and stearic acid. The whole body and body wall also contained high levels of essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and collagen, in addition to moderate amounts of vitamin E and low amounts of GABA and vitamin C.
Conclusions: The sea cucumber, H. scabra, contained high quantity of protein and very low lipid. It contained high essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, nervonic and arachidonic acids, and collagen, which also contained GABA, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Keywords: sea cucumber; Holothuria scabra; nutrition components; functional food
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