Three freshwater fish species viz. Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigala and Gibelion catla, grown in brackish water ponds were analyzed for compositional properties to assess the potential of this habitat to produce nutritionally adequate fish for human consumption. Overall, the unsaturated fatty acids were lower in L. rohita (46.6%) than saturated fatty acids; while in C. mrigala and G. catla, the unsaturated fatty acids were 50.4% and 58.2%, respectively. The most abundant saturated fatty acid in examined species was palmitic acid (C16:0), 23.7 to 34.1%; mono-unsaturated fatty acid was oleic acid (C18:1) 19.6 to 31.7% and poly-unsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid (C18:2) 9.46 to 13.3%. A reasonable amount of essential fatty acids ω-3 (5.80 to 9.26%) and ω-6 (9.46 to 13.3%) was also found in these species while growing in brackish water on salt tolerant forages like Leptochloa fusca, Brachiaria mutica and Kochia indica as supplemental feed. The ω-3/ω-6 ratio was calculated as 0.46, 0.80 and 0.69 in L. rohita, C. mrigala and G. catla, respectively. The maximum EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid, C20:5) was observed in C. mrigala (2.23%), followed by G. catla (1.62%) and L. rohita (0.98%). While the DHA (docosahexanenoic acids, C22:6) was found maximum in G. catla (1.97%) and minimum in C. mrigala (0.95%). The results of body composition indicated that L. rohita found maximum protein contents (19.2%) with minimum total fats (1.28%) while C. mrigala found maximum total fats (2.11%) but minimum protein contents (18.3%). Overall results indicated that the Indian carps grown in brackish water have comparable chemical composition and nutritive value with the same species grown in freshwater medium.
Indian carps, brackish water, chemical composition, fatty acids profile