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Black Sea Shad and Red Mullet as sources of omega 3 Fatty Acids

Albena Merdzhanova, Lyubomir Makedonski, Mona Stancheva


Purpose: The purpose of this work was to study the seasonal changes of the quantity of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) in two commonly consumed Black Sea fish species shad (Alosa pontica) and red mullet (Mullus barbatus ponticus). These fish species appear as one of the best sources of omega- 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Materialand methods: The total lipids were extracted by the method of Blight and Dyer.The fatty acid composition was analysed by GC/MS.

Results: Very-Long Chain n-3PUFA (VLCPUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6 n-3) were presented in the highest concentration in shad in both season, whereas red mullet show an increased n-3 VLCPUFA levels in autumn. The spring shad total content of n-3 FA was significantly higher than the total content of omega 6 (n-6) PUFA, whereas red mullet showed opposite trend. The n-6/n-3 FA ratio was within the recommended range for the analyzed Black Sea fish species.

Conclusion: Shad and red mullet can be classified as fatty fish species. A 100 g portion of fillet delivers between 350 and 2690 mg of sum of EPA and DHA, depending on the season. This is over than 100% of daily recommended amounts of these FAs. Obtained results for omega-3 PUFA content and n-6/n-3 ratio indicates that these Black Sea fish species are an excellent source of these PUFA and would be recommended as part of a healthy or therapeutic diet for adults in Bulgaria during all year.


omega-3; EPA; DHA; Human health; Black Sea shad; red mullet

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About The Authors

Albena Merdzhanova
Medical University of Varna

Department of Chemistry

Lyubomir Makedonski
Medical University of Varna

Department of Chemistry

Mona Stancheva
Medical University of Varna

Department of Chemistry

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