For the purpose of clarifying the differences of taste components between the testis and ovary of the sea urchin Anthocidaris crassispina, variations in free amino acid composition in gonadal extract during gonadal development were investigated using chemical and histopathological methods. Sea urchins were collected at Iki Island, Nagasaki, Japan between 30 April and 5 June 2003, and maturation stages and the free amino acid compositions were determined. The sweet amino acids threonine (Thr), glycine (Gly), and alanine (Ala), the umami amino acid glutamic acid (Glu), and the bitter amino acids lysine (Lys) and arginine (Arg) were the main constituents accounting for more than 80% of total free amino acids. In the testis and ovary, Gly levels were the highest among them and increased with gonadal development. The other free amino acids consisted mainly of bitter amino acids and either showed no variation or decreased with gonadal development. These variations in free amino acid composition were observed more clearly in the ovary than the testis. These findings indicate the possibility of differences in the flavor of sea urchin gonad by sex and gonadal development stages.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science