Proximate and fatty acid composition of cooked South African Cape snoek (Thyrsites atun)


  • Suné S. Henning Department of Food Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Louwrens C. Hoffman Department of Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa



eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, protein content, boiling, snoek


Cape snoek (Thyrsites atun) is an important source of protein for people in South Africa; however, nutritional information thereof is limited. The proximate and fatty acid compositions of raw and cooked (80 °C) snoek muscles were determined according to official AOAC methods. The mean moisture, ash, total lipids and protein for raw snoek were 72.8±1.86%, 1.3±0.09%, 4.0±1.16 and 21.5±1.35%, respectively. Cape snoek is very high in palmitic acid (24.65±1.43%), oleic acid (18.21±2.64%), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 9.11±2.06%) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 19.70±3.25%). With the exception of total lipids, cooking significantly reduced moisture (69.40±2.03%) and ash (1.12±0.12%), and increased protein (24.47±1.39%) content. It is concluded that Cape snoek is very high in protein and can be classified as a low-fat fish which is rich in EPA and DHA.

  • Cape snoek is a low-fat fish, containing less than 4% fat, and is high in EPA (9.11±2.06%) and DHA (19.70±3.25%).
  • Cape snoek is thus a healthy, cheap and high-protein food source, with a high content of omega-3 fatty acids.


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How to Cite

Henning, S. S., & Hoffman, L. C. (2017). Proximate and fatty acid composition of cooked South African Cape snoek (Thyrsites atun). South African Journal of Science, 113(5/6), 4.



Research Article