THE CHITON ARTICULATUS SOURCE OF MINERALS FOR HUMAN HEALTH
Keywords:minerals, chiton, nutrition, human health, biodiversity
The marine cockroach Chiton articulatus is distributed in rocky coastlines intertidal zones all over the world. There are about 600 species of Chiton who play an important role in the tropic chain. Mexico has a long coastline with these characteristics. This herbivorous mollusc attached to the rocks, can be found throughout the year, however availability is low during the months of July to September due to deep water flow and flood tides as well as rough weather conditions that difficult their harvest. The aim of this research is to assess minerals in Chiton articulatus and to promote their consumption amongst the general population to help prevent chronic diseases from mineral deficiencies. Sampling was performed over 10 Km in the rocky seaboard of Acapulco port in the Pacific Ocean, once every four weeks for a period of six months. The material obtained was analysed to determine mineral composition of the mollusc: Na, K, Cu, Fe, Zn, Ca, and Mg were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry; P by colorimetric and I by titration. The data obtained was: Na 320mg/100g; K 17.00 mg/100g; Cu 0.52 mg/100g; Fe 2.66 mg/100g; Zn 1.68 mg/100g; Ca 125mg/100g; P 131 mg/100g; I 18.01 mg/100g and Mg 16.60 mg/100g. Not all minerals in the marine cockroach were quantified. Some of them were found in small amounts, but the nutrient value can be complemented with other foods in a mixed diet. The inorganic composition can vary according to the abiotic condition of the environment. The mineral content of the Chiton is related with inorganic biodiversity of the surrounding areas and can be modified by abiotic conditions. Chiton is well accepted by the population and, therefore, its consumption may play an important role in human health.