Alitta (Nereis) virens
The ragworm, (Alitta (Nereis) virens), also known as the 'sandworm' or 'clamworm', is a free-living marine polychaete found on the Atlantic shores of North America and Northern Europe.
The ragworm feeds by scavenging and will eat live or dead organic matter of animal and/or plant origin.
Ragworms can grow to over one metre in length but are used as feed or as a bait at much smaller sizes.
Having been grown in strictly controlled conditions, this polychaete is free from contamination by heavy metals, antibiotics, pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella, etc) and tropical shrimp pathogens.
Protein levels amount to in excess of 55% of dry weight.
Lipid levels are enriched to twice those found in worms grown in wild conditions, and, interestingly, many times greater than a considerable number of tropical polychaetes.
FAMEs analysis shows that temperate-cultured polychaetes contain high concentrations of all of the essential PUFAs and HUFAs. Major fatty acids present include: Linolenic acid (18:3 n3), Arachidonic acid (ARA 20:4 n-6), Docosahexanoic acid (DHA 22:6 n-3), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA 20:5 n-3) and Linoleic acid (18:2 n-6).
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