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The chemical composition of Haplochromis spp.

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posted on 04.08.2017 by William M. Ssali
The Haplochromis genus constitutes about 80% by weight of the fish in Lake Victoria yet only small amounts are utilised directly for food. There are over 150 species of Haplochromis, in the lake forming a species flock and any typical catch is made up of a mixture of many species. Morphological resemblance of the species makes identification of individual species very difficult. Little information has been published about the chemical composition of Haplochromis. The present study provides chemical composition data for lipid, protein and other nutritionally important constituents of Haplochromis as an aid to the processing of the resource and its nutritional evaluation. Four batches of Haplochromis from Lake Victoria were received. The first batch was analysed only for total lipid. Fish from the other three batches, caught over a five month period, were each split into four weight groups. Data were obtained for the weight distribution in the batches., the relationship between weight and length of the fish, weight and maximum depth of the fish and for the proportions of head, gut and headless gutless portions in the different weight groups. Total lipid determinations were carried out on the head, gut and headless, gutless portions for all four groups for each batch. On average 54% of the total lipid in the whole fish was present in the head, 19% in the gut and 27% in the headless, gutless portion. Small variations were found in the total lipid .content and distribution between size groups and batches, although on average the whole fish contained about 6% total lipid. Analyses for the lipid fatty acids profile, crude protein, true protein, amino acid profile, ash, calcium, vitamin A and moisture were carried out on the head, gut, fillet and residue for the major group and on the whole fish for other groups. Processing and nutritional implications of the results are discussed . The results generally indicate that for practical processing purposes the species flock may be treated as a single species.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering


© W.M. Ssali

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Masters Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy of Loughborough University.




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