Saturday, July 20, 2024

Kapenta more nutritious when dried


KAPENTA, a type of fish also known as small fresh water sardine, has several chemical compositions that help reduce the risk of various diseases including prostate cancer.

Kapenta is a small fresh water sardine that originated from Lake Tanganyika.

Two species are known to exist; the Limnothrissa miodon and the Stolothrisssa Tanganicae. Both these species are planktivorous and pelagic. It has several other names in countries where it is found.

A recent chemical composition analysis of kapenta by the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) shows a great variation in the nutrient composition for the dry and fresh fish.

NFNC principal nutritionist Mr Musonda Mofu says dry kapenta contains 209 calories of food energy compared with 85 calories of food energy in fresh Kapenta.

In addition, dry Kapenta contains 63 grammes of protein and only 16 grammes in fresh Kapenta.

Overall this shows that, per portion, there are more benefits in dry kapenta than in fresh Kapenta.

The nutrition problems of iron deficiency and vitamin A deficiency can also be addressed by consuming kapenta as it has a high content of these minerals.

Overall, 8.5 miligrammes (mg) of iron can be derived from dry Kapenta and 2.1 mg from fresh Kapenta.

In general, Kapenta is a healthy food and very rich in protein. It also has low levels of saturated fat and is a rich source for omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

As a result of this chemical composition, Kapenta, like other fishes, may reduce the risk of disease including prostate cancer, depending on the frequency of consumption.

Kapenta is also rich in Vitamin B12, which is important in the promotion of cardiovascular well being since it is intricately tied to keeping levels of homocysteine in balance.

Homocysteine can damage artery walls and elevated levels could be a risk for atherosclerosis.
Allergic reactions can occur from virtually any food. A number of allergic reactions to kapenta have been reported.

Oral allergies in which the mouth itches or tingles after eating kapenta are common in some individuals.

Other reactions have been linked to anaphylaxis which is a severe systemic reaction in which the body releases large amounts of histamine.

When allergies are observed, it is recommended to see a doctor for assessment and advice.

Kapenta is key on the menus of many Zambians. It can be used to promote protein consumption especially among the poor.

Consumption of whole kapenta is also helpful as the intestines of kapenta provide a rich source of micronutrients.

[Zambia Daily Mail]


  1. Kapenta musomali wakupopela icibala! Was one of my favourite childhood songs. \:d/
    This ‘fresh small water sardine was our ‘salvation’ especially in the 80s and 90s when our economy was din the dodrums!
    Many people of Zambeziland can harness fish farming of these sardines, I suppose.

  2. Viva “monk sausage”! I’ve always believed that my beloved chisense possessed a lot of nutrients and our researchers have finally documented this.

  3. As of today I shall call the two kapelezi
    Species by their scientific names Limnothrissa miodon and the Stolothrisssa Tanganicae all these years and I did not know. What’s the scientific name of those bitter Zambian anchovies you know the black kapentas?

  4. No wonder our country is going nowhere in terms of science and technology. Isn’t it obvious that when you remove water from something, the apparent levels of anything that is left increase? Ba Musonda please report things scientifically.

  5. In the 80s and 90s at some flats in Ndola the white landlord never used to allow tenats to cook kapenta, boz it was breach of national peace. I dont know whether the rule still apllies now?

  6. #10 kwindi kodjo
    You and I are on the same page, this is simply shocking! This is not science, it’s the mother of all stupidity! Mr Musonda, you call this scientific? Go back to school, mate.

  7. @ Kwindi Kodjo and Chad it’s not being uninformed my cousin mr. Musonda is informing the masses not every Zambian is of the scientific dispensation. By you screen names I know we are from the same generation. Science is but a gift of reason from God. Their are avenues beyond it to harness that grow a people, African and black people are the last of the few on this planet that really still have it. It’s what differentiates us from moral decay; it’s called being God concious we know he is here even when schools elsewhere have neglected him. So we need to take hold of our basic family hood and develop Zambia through that avenue, teach more on nutritious foods and learn from others on business soundness blessings my friends.

    Good News For Dry Fish (KAPENTA) Buyer across the Africa (ZIMBABWE) ……..
    recently our consignment of DRY KAPENTA reached at Africa……..

    The ( DRY KAPENTA ) is very good in taste,and Quality
    Dried in natural sunlight,
    It’s available in two major colors GOLDEN & SILVER
    quantity is 12 MT (12,000 K.G)

    INTERESTED BUYERS PLEASE MAIL AT :- [email protected]

    • I would like to buy Kapenta from Zambia and sell in Namibia. Can you help me with the addresses of suppliers or shops where I can buy?



    • Please quote price per ton of dried kapenta. It can be low quality as will be used in animal feed.

      Thank you.

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