Edible land and sea snails as sources of protein and other important nutrients
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Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology, School of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A26
Edible species of marine-, aquatic-, and terrestrial-origin snails (Phylum Mollusca, Class Gastropoda) are consumed by humans since prehistoric times. Wild populations of snails are collected, while land snails are also farmed. Snails are cooked and served by multiple traditional recipes in many parts of the world, including France, Greece, and Turkey, as they are considered a delicacy and part of the Mediterranean diet. Snail meat is considered a nutritious protein-based food with a balanced amino acid profile. It is low in fat and cholesterol content, while the fat fraction is rich-in-unsaturated lipids. Snail meat is also a good source of minerals and trace elements, such as Ca, K, Mg, Fe, P and Se. Snails have attracted attention due to their content in anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antimicrobial bioactive compounds. However, little research has been conducted regarding snail meat protein digestibility, functional properties, and methods of increasing the bioavailability of its nutrients. Given the frequent consumption of snails, their nutritional value and nutrient absorption should further be studied.
The authors would like to thank Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI) and the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI) for funding.
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