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A nutrient evaluation of selected Nuxalk salmon preparations Kennelly, Anthea Christine


Surveys of the nutritional status of Canadian Native Indians have shown that this is a group at risk nutritionally. One of the reasons suggested for this finding is the changing food patterns which have occurred in this group as acculturation has progressed. Several studies have found that traditional foods are significantly better in specific nutritional aspects than the "westernized" foods which replace them in the diet. The present study was conducted as part of a nutrition program in Bella Coola, B.C. The nutrient content of five Nuxalk salmon preparations - canned, barbequed, and barbequed and canned sockeye (Oncorhyncus nerka) and sluq (a smoked dried product) and k1nuum (a half-smoked product) coho (O. kiutsch) was examined. The nutrient composition (proximate composition, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, free and total folate, free and total pantothenate, sodium, chromium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium) was determined for the five salmon preparations using standard methods. The nutrient composition of each of the products varied considerably over the samples studied. The greatest variations occurred in the vitamins (vitamin E and thiamin) and the minerals (sodium and copper). The nutrient composition of the prepared products was compared to that of similar raw samples using a paired comparison t-test to determine the effect of traditional processing techniques. Few significant differences were found. Moisture was decreased in the barbequed/canned (p<0.01), the sluq (p<0.001) and the k’nuum (p<0.01) samples. Ash and sodium increased in the canned (p<0.01, p<0.01) and the barbequed/canned (p<0.05, p<0.01) samples. Manganese increased in the sluq (p<0.01). Both total and free pantothenate increased in the barbequed (p<0.02) samples while free pantothenate increased in the sluq (0.02) and the k'nuum (p<0.01). Free folate decreased in the sluq (p<0.001). Riboflavin and niacin both increased in the canned (p<0.01) while vitamin D increased in the sluq (p<0.05) and the k'nuum (p<0.01) and vitamin E decreased in the barbequed (p<0.05). The increase in minerals and ash was probably due to additions in processing while the icreases in other nutrients was probably the result of greater losses of nutrients in the frozen strorage of raw samples compared to prepared samples. The nutrient composition of the Nuxalk salmon products was compared to that of protein foods available commercially in Bella Coola using the Mann-Whitney U-Test. On the basis of the percentage of the Reccommended Nutrient Intakes for Canadian women 24-49 years of age (R.N.I.) provided by a standard serving of each of the products the Nuxalk salmon products were ranked equal to or higher than the commercial products. On the basis of the percentage of the R.N.I. provided by $1.00 worth of each of the products, the commercial products were ranked significantly higher for iron (p<0.01) and zinc (p<0.002). Meat (p<o.002) and cured meats (p<0.001) ranked higher than the Nuxalk products in providing iron while cured meats p<0.01) and dairy products (p<0.001) ranked higher than the Nuxalk products in providing zinc. On the basis of the Index of Nutrient Quality (I.N.Q.) (Sorenson and Hansen, 1975) the commercial products ranked higher for calcium (p<0.001) and iron (p<0.005). All the commercial products except meat alternates ranked higher than the Nuxalk products for calcium (Meat p<0.001), cured meats p<0.005), fish p<0.05 and dairy products p<0.001) while meat (p<0.0001), cured meat (p<0.0001) and fish (p<0.05) ranked higher for iron.

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