Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 7, Issue 2,2009
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Mineral contents of tissues and body fluids and heavy metal contaminants of four predominant snail species in the Niger Delta


A. Hamilton-Amachree 1, H. D. Mepba 2*, C. U. Ogunka-Nnoka 1

Recieved Date: 2008-11-11, Accepted Date: 2009-04-10


Mineral contents and heavy metal contaminants of four predominant snail species in the Niger Delta: African giant land snail (Archachatina marginata), African land snail (Achatina fulica), water snail (Pila ovata) and garden snail (Limicolaria aurora) were evaluated. Snail tissues and body fluids were harvested having cracked the tail-end of the shell. Triplicate samples of macerated snail tissues and body fluids were separately digested and extracts evaluated for contents of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe and P. The contributions of mineral elements in snail tissues to daily recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for adult males and females were assessed and the results discussed. Contents of Cu, Pb, Cd, Hg and Cr in the tissues as heavy metal contaminants were analysed and compared with Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) specifications for metals in foods. The ranges of K, Na and Ca contents of snail tissues were 40.4-61.7, 19.3-93.2 and 44.6-530.9 µg/g, respectively. Similarly Mg, Zn and Fe ranges of snail tissues were 45.6-87.5, 0.7-6.6 and 3.5-34.9 µg/g, respectively. Significant (P < 0.05) species differences were observed in the mineral contents of the snail tissues and body fluids. Higher concentrations of K were recorded in the tissues of P. ovataA. fulica and L. aurora than in A. marginataL. aurora tissues had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher Ca, Mg and Zn than other snail tissues. Mineral contents of body fluids followed the trends of distribution in the snail tissues. L. aurora had the highest contribution of Ca (13.3/13.3%), Mg (5.46/7.10%) and Zn (15.0/20.6%) to the RDA for adult males and females, respectively. A. fulica, P. ovata and L. aurora had mean contributions of K 0.3% while P. ovata had the highest contribution of Fe 109.1% and Na 4.7% to the RDA for adult males and females. Generally, Cu, Pb, Cd, Hg and Cr were accumulated at levels lower than the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), Nigeria, specifications for metals in foods.


Snails, minerals, tissues, body fluids, heavy metals

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2009
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 163-168

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