The profile and distribution of fatty acids in neutral lipids, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine of appreciated crustaceans species caught in the Adriatic Sea during the autumn months, namely caramote prawn (Penaeus kerathurus), mantis shrimp (Squilla mantis) and crab (Liocarcinus vernalis), were investigated. The crab's total fatty acid profile significantly differed from that of caramote prawn and mantis shrimp. Crab was the most valuable dietary source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n–3 PUFA), with approximately 2-fold higher eicosapentaenoic acid content (131.6 ± 31.6 mg/100 g of edible part) than caramote prawn and mantis shrimp. The caramote prawn presented the highest furan fatty acids (F-acids) level (2.5 ± 0.5 mg/100 g). All crustaceans preferentially accumulated the n–3 PUFA in phosphatidylethanolamine fraction. The F-acid distribution among the lipid classes changed according to the crustacean species. Crab presented F-acids mainly in the neutral lipid whereas caramote prawn contained them predominantly in the phospholipids. On the contrary, F-acids were not detected in the phosphatidylcholine of mantis shrimp. These differences in the distribution suggest different nutritional and health properties given by the consumption of the crustaceans investigated. Moreover, the F-acid profile of the different lipid classes could be used to discriminate these crustaceans.
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