Variation in the Proximate, Energy and Mineral Compositions of Different Body Parts of Macrobrachium macrobranchion (Prawn)

E. Ekpenyong, I. O. Williams, U. U. Osakpa


The proximate and elemental compositions of various body parts of Macrobrachium macrobranchion (prawn) obtained from the Great Kwa River, a major tributary of Cross River estuary in Cross River State, Nigeria were investigated using standard methods of AOAC. Results showed that the flesh had significantly higher (p < 0.05) levels of protein, fat and moisture (22.32, 7.70 and 58.40%, respectively) than the other body parts analyzed. Equally high in protein were the head (20.11%) and appendages (19.28%), while the exoskeleton recorded the least protein content (14.02%). The flesh had the least (p < 0.05) crude fibre (0.03%) and carbohydrate (7.22%) contents, and conversely had the least energy value (187.50 kcal/g) among the body parts. Ash content was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the exoskeleton (7.14%), the appendages (7.01%) and the head (6.05%) than in the flesh (4.30%). Individual elements were also unequally distributed among the four body parts investigated: sodium and potassium were more concentrated in the flesh (189.27 mg/100 g and 114.70 mg/100 g, respectively), while calcium and magnesium were highest in the appendages (99.02 mg/100 g and 171.40 mg/100 g, respectively). The concentration of iron was generally low among the body parts; however, it was highest (p < 0.05) in the head. The usual practice of retaining the flesh and discarding the “hard” parts (head, exoskeleton and appendages) of prawn during food preparation should be discouraged as this may promote wastage of important nutrients.

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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0895 (Online)  E-mail:

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