Nutritional and sensory profiling of the African giant land snail fed commercial-type and leaf-based diets in a rain-forest ecology
AbstractNutritional and organoleptic properties of the African giant land snails (Archachatina marginata) were investigated using 96 healthy-looking growing snails maintained on broiler starter mash (BSM) as control, Talinium triangulare or waterleaf, Centrosema molle or centro leaves, and Carica papaya or pawpaw leaves for 16 weeks. This study was set up as a completely randomized design (CRD) with the snails allocated to 4 treatment groups (broiler starter mash (BSM) as control; Talinium triangulare leaves or waterleaf; Centrosema molle or centro leaves; Carica papaya or pawpaw leaves) and 3 replications each of 8 snails (giving a total of 24 snails per treatment group). At the end of the 16-week period, 4 snails were each harvested at random from the 3 replicates of each of the 4 treatments, sacrificed, processed and analyzed. Dry matter (DM), ash, fat or ether extract (EE) and nitrogen-free extract (NFE) were higher (P < 0.05) in the BSM group, while crude fibre (CF) was higher (P < 0.05) in centro leaves (34.2 g/100 g) and crude protein (CP) was higher in pawpaw leaves. Meancholesterol level was very low (0.003 ± 0.0006 mg/100 g) in the snail. Negative correlation (r = -0.99; P < 0.05) was recorded between diet CF and moisture content of the snail meat, while feed EE had a positive correlation (r = 0.98; P < 0.05) with snail cholesterol level. Based on tastiness, toughness and tenderness of the snails fried and stewed with spices or only steamed without spices, preference ranking in descending order gave pawpaw leaves > BSM = centro leaves > waterleaf. Thus, snails fed pawpaw leaves performed better than the control diet and could be exploited as a cheap feed resource for smallholder snail production in the humid tropics. Low fat and cholesterol levels in the African giant land snail make it very suitable for ameliorating human cardiovascular-related diseases.
Key words: Composition, nutrient, palatability, sensory, snail
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