Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition, Obesity
Our understanding of the nutrient contribution of fish to human diets relies on nutrient composition data for a starkly limited number of fish species. Yet particularly for the most nutritionally vulnerable fish consumers around the world, fish consumption includes a wide diversity of fish species whose nutrient composition data is disparate, poorly compiled, or unknown. To address the gap in understanding fish nutrient composition data, we reviewed the literature with an emphasis on small indigenous species of fish that are missing from global databases.
We conducted a systematic review by searching fish* AND *nutri* composition in 3 databases (EBSCO Host Agricola, Web of Science, and Web of Science using cabicode Food Composition and Quality) and one research journal (Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, search for fish*). We screened 3,627 articles returned by search results and retained 81 articles containing 985 entries of nutrient composition data for fish and aquatic species (inclusive of duplicates). We compiled a database with all available information on fish nutrient composition (i.e., macronutrients, micronutrients, fatty acids, amino acids) and heavy metals (e.g., lead, mercury) on global fish and other aquatic animals, including both inland and marine species.
We highlight fish and other aquatic animal species within our database that are particularly high in nutrients of global importance, including iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin A, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and examine when a serving of fish and other aquatic animals can fill critical nutrient needs for pregnant and lactating women and children under two (Figure 1).
By collating the available nutrient composition data on small indigenous species of fish and other aquatic animals, we provide a resource for fisheries and nutrition researchers, experts, and practitioners to better understand these critical species and include them in food-based programs and policies.
Funding Sources : Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (to KJF) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development in partnership with WorldFish (to KB and SHT).