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Cultured largemouth bass (LMB) cannot be sold as food in some lucrative markets due to regulatory restrictions
that protect wild LMB. Distinguishing between cultured and wild fish could open food markets for cultured fish.
Wild LMB eat freshwater fish and cultured LMB eat diets high in marine fish meal and oil, which should produce differences
in flesh composition. We analyzed the proximate and fatty acid composition of wild and cultured LMB muscle to
determine the potential for distinguishing fish origin analytically. Protein and moisture were higher in wild fish, while
lipid was higher in cultured fish. The n-3 and n-6 fatty acids, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), and the
ratio of n-3 to n-6 fatty acids all differed between cultured and wild fish. The n-3 to n-6 ratio and n-3 LC-PUFA were
higher in cultured fish, while elevated arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) in wild fish was a key distinguishing feature.