Sutchi catfish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) produced in the freshwater basins of Vietnam, available on the Italian market as frozen or thawed fillets, were studied for their nutritional quality and safety aspects. Proximate composition, mineral content, fatty acid profile, unsaponifiable components of the lipid fraction and drip loss during thawing at 5°C were determined on the fillets. Fillets were characterised by high moisture levels (80-85%) and low protein (12.6-15.6%) and lipid (1.1-3.0%) contents. Total lipids were characterised by low cholesterol levels (21-39mg/100g), high percentages of saturated fatty acids (41.1-47.8% of total fatty acid) and low percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acids (12.5-18.8% of total fatty acids), which were mainly represented by linoleic acid (44-59% of total polyunsaturated fatty acids). The mineral composition was characterised by a high sodium content (222-594mg/100g), probably partially due to the sodium tripolyphosphate (E 451) used to retain moisture. As regards safety aspects, the quality of the samples analysed was good, with low residue levels of mercury, organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls.
Keywords: Nutritional quality; Organochlorinated pollutants; Pangasius hypophthalmus; Safety.
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