Snail meat, also known as “Congo meat,” is popular in many countries around the world. Snails, on the other hand, are considered a delicacy for the wealthy in some countries due to their nutritional value.
Snail meat, also known as escargot, is high in protein and iron, as well as nearly all of the amino acids required for human nutrition.
Snail, for example, is a popular meat for many Nigerians, particularly in rural areas, particularly in the rain forest belt, where it is collected from the wild.
Although many studies and experience have shown that snail farming is highly profitable and productive if well managed with best practices, the potential for its domestication and commercialization in the country has not been fully harnessed or exploited.
Snail meat is high in protein at about 12 – 16 percent, iron at about 45 – 50 percent, low in fat with about 0.5 – 0.08 percent, and contains nearly all of the amino acids required by humans. It is also high in vitamins.
Additionally, aside from its nutritional value, it is also known to have medicinal properties and applications.
Snails have become an income earner for rural dwellers in Nigeria, who make a living by picking snails from the wild (Rain forest) and gathering them to sell in markets and along the roadside. They typically collect snails during the rainy season, when snails are most abundant.
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Snails are gastropod mollusks that live both on land and in water.
Of course, not all species found in the wild are edible. Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa are the most commonly consumed land snails.
Freshwater snails of the Ampullariidae family, also known as apple snails, are eaten in many Asian countries.
Several sea snail species, such as whelks and abalones, are also consumed around the world. Snail meat is flavorless and absorbs the flavors of the ingredients with which it is cooked. Their texture is firm and slightly chewy, similar to squid and mussels.
Snail meat contains approximately 16 grams of protein per 100 grams of edible snail meat.
This protein is regarded as high-quality because it contains all of the essential amino acids required by the human body.
The protein content of snail meat is comparable to that of pork and beef, but snail meat has a much lower fat content.
Snail meats, in addition to being high in protein and low in fat, are also high in iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and a variety of other minerals.
Many people believe that snails taste like nothing, have the texture of an old inner tube, and are nothing more than rubbery vehicles for bubbling garlic butter.
The canned varieties are less expensive and chewier, but the fresh versions can be as delicate as a sprinkling of spring dew.
Snail meat contains 20 to 50 percent blood, whereas the sea hare (Aplysia) body weight is approximately 75 percent blood.
Haemocyanin is the most common blood pigment in snails.
Unlike haemoglobin, which is used by vertebrates, haemocyanin forms a complex with copper as the oxygen binding atom.
Land snails, like any other animal suitable for human consumption, can be raised as livestock. Heliciculture is the practice of raising snails for human consumption.
Snails are usually raised in pens. Farmers may have different pens for different stages of the snail’s life cycle, depending on the size of their business.
Feeding, maintaining hygienic conditions in the pen, checking soil quality, and recording development are all activities involved in snail farming.
It is critical that pens are escape-proof because snails that escape the farm become agricultural pests, which can have serious consequences for natural ecosystems.
Snails raised in captivity are fed leaves, fruits, flowers, and even kitchen scraps.
Throughout the year, raising snails necessitates a consistent temperature, high humidity, and a fairly consistent day and night rhythm.
This means that farmers living outside of tropical and subtropical regions must invest in climate control systems for their (usually indoor) snail farms.
Snail Meat Nutrition
Snail nutrition facts: Here are six reasons why snails should be making their way to your plate as a super food;
1. Snail Meat Contains Protein
Snails are a low-calorie source of protein unless they are drenched in butter.
Protein is essential for muscle building and repair, and it is also more filling than carbs and fat. Many people think of seafood as an easy source of protein, but snails have even more.
2. Snail Meat Contains Iron
Snail meats are also high in iron, which is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and the transport of energy throughout the body.
Iron deficiency can cause extreme fatigue and anaemia and eating snail meats can help you to prevent that.
3. Snail Meat Contains Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, also known as the ‘energy vitamin,’ is required for the formation of red blood cells, the maintenance of the nervous system, the release of energy from food, and the processing of folic acid. Snails, fortunately, have plenty of it.
4. Snail Meat Contains Magnesium
Snail meats are also high in magnesium, which our bodies require to maintain normal blood pressure, bone strength, and a regular heartbeat.
5. Snail Meat Contains Selenium
Although we don’t require a lot of selenium in our bodies, but we do require some to maintain a healthy immune system and to protect cells from damage. Yes, snails do contain selenium.
6. Snail Meat Contains Omega-3
Snails contain a small amount of Omega-3, which is good for your heart, but nowhere near the levels found in oily fish.
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