Macro- and microelements in eel (Anguilla anguilla) from the northern regions of Poland
Polak-Juszczak L., Robak S.
Declines in the abundance of eel (Anguilla anguilla) have been noted in Europe in recent years, and this species is considered to be threatened with extinction. This is why the Eel Management Plan is being conducted in Poland with the aim of restoring stocks of this fish. The aim of the study was to determine the differences in the concentrations of macro- and microelements and toxic metals in the muscles of eel as a function of specimen length, mass, region inhabited and an evaluation of the health benefits and risks to consumers. The eel were caught in 2011-2013 in the southern Baltic, inland lakes in northeast Poland, the Vistula and Szczecin lagoons, and in the Vistula River. The concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, strontium, zinc, and arsenic were determined in 160 samples with optical emission spectrometry, and concentrations of copper, cadmium, lead, mercury and selenium with atomic absorption spectrometry. The concentrations of macro- and microelements, with the exception of phosphorus and zinc, were negatively correlated with eel length and mass, which indicated that small eel contained more minerals than did large specimens. Eel is a rich source of phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and iron. The other minerals occurred at levels that ranged from 2 to 6% of human daily requirements. Among the toxic metals, mercury was cause for concern, while cadmium and lead occurred at low levels. The mean concentration of mercury ranged from 0.147 to 0.273 mg kg-1 and was positively correlated with specimen length and mass. Small eel (up to 70 cm) contained lower levels of mercury. The contents of mercury in large eel exceeded 0.500 mg kg-1, and can pose a threat to consumer health, especially it’s organic from of methylmercury. This is why consumers should limit long-term consumption of larger eel, while it is safe to consume smaller specimens since they contain less mercury and more minerals than do large eel.
Polak-Juszczak L., Robak S. 2015. Macro- and microelements in eel (Anguilla anguilla) from the northern regions of Poland. J. Elem., 20(2): 385 - 394, DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2014.19.2.652
eel, macroelements, microelements, toxic metals