Proximate and fatty acid composition of cooked South African Cape snoek (Thyrsites atun)

  • Suné S. Henning Department of Food Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Louwrens C. Hoffman Department of Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Keywords: eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, protein content, boiling, snoek


Cape snoek (Thyrsites atun) is an important source of protein for people in South Africa; however, nutritional information thereof is limited. The proximate and fatty acid compositions of raw and cooked (80 °C) snoek muscles were determined according to official AOAC methods. The mean moisture, ash, total lipids and protein for raw snoek were 72.8±1.86%, 1.3±0.09%, 4.0±1.16 and 21.5±1.35%, respectively. Cape snoek is very high in palmitic acid (24.65±1.43%), oleic acid (18.21±2.64%), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 9.11±2.06%) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 19.70±3.25%). With the exception of total lipids, cooking significantly reduced moisture (69.40±2.03%) and ash (1.12±0.12%), and increased protein (24.47±1.39%) content. It is concluded that Cape snoek is very high in protein and can be classified as a low-fat fish which is rich in EPA and DHA.

  • Cape snoek is a low-fat fish, containing less than 4% fat, and is high in EPA (9.11±2.06%) and DHA (19.70±3.25%).
  • Cape snoek is thus a healthy, cheap and high-protein food source, with a high content of omega-3 fatty acids.
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