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International Research Journal of Microbiology

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Cultural discrimination in the Consumption of black snail (Archachatina marginata) and white snail (Achatina achatina);any scientific justification?

Abstract

F. E. Uboh, P. E. Ebong and E. Mbi

There is a strong cultural discrimination in the consumption of white snail (Achatina achatina) against black snail (Archachatina marginata) in several tribes in Nigeria and other tropical regions in West African Countries.The proximate(crude fibre,ash,fat,protein and carbohydrates),minerals(calcium, potassium,magnesium,sodium,iron,zinc and phosphorus) and toxicants(hydrocyanic acid,phytate, total and soluble oxalate) compositions of A. achatina and A. marginata were analysed in this study to validate or reject the cultural discrimination in the consumption of these species of giant land snails. Results revealed no statistical significant differences (P  0.05) in the proximate, mineral and toxicant compositions of A. marginata compared to A. achatina.Results indicated that both species have relatively high contents of protein, carbohydrate, calcium, potassium magnesium and sodium; and relatively low crude fibre,ash,fat,iron,zinc,phosphorus,hydrocyanic acid,phytate,total and soluble oxalate concentrations.Considering the similar proximate, minerals and toxicants compositions of A. achatina and A. marginata,there is no scientific basis or justification for any cultural discrimination in the consumption of either of the species of snails.In particular,both species are recommended as a good and alternative source of protein for consumption.

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