Evaluation of the Nutritive Value of the African Giant Land Snail, Archachatina (Calachatina).
In order to assess the nutritive value of the African giant land Snail (Archachatina marginata), a comparison between its meat and some conventional sources of animal protein - beef, broiler meat, mutton, pork, goat meat and two types of fish (Tilapia macrocephala and Clarias lazera) was made. The proximate composition, fatty acid, amino acid and mineral analyses, as well as cholesterol content of the samples were used as criteria for comparison. With a protein content of 88.37%, snail meat compared favourably with the conventional animal protein sources, whose protein values ranged from 82% to 93% of the dry sample. It was however low in total fat content (1.64%), percent saturated fatty acids (28.71%) and cholesterol content (20.28 mg/100g sample) when compared with each of the other samples. While its amino acid profile was generally similar to those of the samples tested along with it, mineral analysis showed that snail meat is a rich source of minerals, particularly calcium and phosphorus with values of 185.70 mg/100g and 61.24mg/ 100g dry sample respectively. The amount of these minerals in the others, for example, beef sample (53.00 mg/100g calcium and 24.05 mg/100g phosphorus) is much lower than is present in Snail meat. By virtue of its chemical composition, the meat of the Archachatina marginata has some potential as a source of essential nutrients. It may also be useful medically, since it appears to possess certain medicinal properties.