Mud crab (MC) aquaculture is rapidly developing fast worldwide, and there is a high consumer demand for Scylla paramamosain. Demand for MCs is especially high in China, where such crabs, especially the gravid females, are regarded a delicacy. In Hainan Island, pond-rearing wild MC juveniles in the presence of local trash fish and shrimps in brackish water has been shown to be successful. The nutritional value of cultured MC, however, has not been evaluated. In this paper, the biochemical composition of pond-cultured and wild gravid female MCs was studied. The cultured MCs had a higher ratio of total edible yield than the wild ones. The contents of crude protein and crude lipid in the cultured MCs were significantly lower than in the wild MCs (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the total amino acid (TAA) and essential amino acid (EAA) contents of gonads in the wild MCs were both significantly higher than those in the cultured MCs (P < 0.05). The TAAs and EAAs of claw and body muscles in cultured MCs, however, were significantly higher (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in the contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), n-3 fatty acids, and n-6 fatty acids in the gonad of bothMCgroups, whereas the contents of total saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) were significantly different between the wild and the cultured MCs (P < 0.05). Furthermore, there were no significant differences in the contents of SFAs, MUFAs, and PUFAs in both claw and body muscle between the wild and cultured MCs.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2