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Branzino Nutrition facts

European bass or Branzino is a round, non-oily, tropical ocean fish found predominantly in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. European sea bass is also called loup de mer in French, white salmon, Spigola or Lubina or simply as bass.

Scientific name: Dicentrarchus labrax, in Moronidae; the family that also includes yellow bass and white perch.

Branzino (European sea bass). Photo credit-LHOON

Branzino is the Italian name for this silver-skinned fish which is most prized in Mediterranean cuisine for its lean, firm, white, and delicate flesh.

The spotted seabass (Dicentrarchus punctatus) is a close relative found in temperate marine and brackish waters of the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.

Chilean sea bass (Patagonian toothfish) is a different species of fish native to coastal waters of Southern Chile and Argentina.

Striped American sea bass (Morone saxatilis) is also a different species of fish found in the Eastern coastal waters of the United States.


European Sea basses live in coastal waters in small schools although sometimes are found in brackish or freshwater. They can also be found in saltwater lakes, lagoons, and some large river estuaries. Branzino feeds on small fish, crustaceans, and fish eggs.


Branzino (European seabass) is a round, warm-water marine fish. It is readily identified by its silvery grey, scaly, elongated body. They have two separate dorsal fins and rayed anal fins. The anal fin is slightly forked.

It ranges in size from one and a half to three pounds and has a firm, white, delicate-flavored flesh, and few small bones. In Italy, the Sea Bass is intensively bred in salty waters.

Adult fish range in size from 30 to 50 cm in length and weigh one and a half to three pounds. Commercial farming of sea bass is successfully undertaken on Italian Mediterranean coasts for export to the United States.

Health Benefits of Branzino

  1. European sea bass (Branzino) is one of the low-calorie round fishes; 100 g holds just 97 calories.

  2. It is a non-fatty (white fish) oceanic fish; nonetheless, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids but at lower levels than oily fish.

  3. Branzino is one of the finest sources of essential fatty acids, protein, minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin-A, E, and D (cholecalciferol).

  4. 100 g of wild, line-caught sea bass holds 226 IU (56.5% of daily recommended intake) of vitamin D . This hormone vitamin plays a vital role as an immunity booster, anti-cancer agent, and promoter of bone metabolism.

  5. Branzino's lean, white meat composes a good amino-acids profile. 100g fish provides 18.43 g/100 g (33% of RDI). Protein composition is complete in the sense that all essential amino acids are in healthy proportions.

  6. Its lean meat is a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Studies suggest that eating seafood can decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension. Seafood is low in saturated fat and higher in “heart healthful” polyunsaturated fat, including omega-3 fatty acids.

  7. US-FDA categorises European sea bass in "the best choice" section considering mercury levels in its flesh. The recommendation is the consumption of 2-3 servings a week for European sea bass.

  8. Branzino is a moderate source of omega-3 eicosapentaenoicacid (EPA), docosapantaenoicacid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fatty acids. Research studies suggest that these fatty acids, particularly DHA, play an important role in the development of the nervous system, especially in infants and children.

  9. According to Cornell University and the New York Sea Grant Extension Program. 2012- The fatty acids play a crucial role in decreasing blood pressure and heart rate and help improve cardiovascular function. For example, research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) that can lead to sudden death.

  10. In adults, several large trials have evaluated the effect of fish or fish oils on heart disease. In the "GISSI Prevention Trial heart attack survivors who took a 1-gram capsule of omega-3 fats every day for three years were less likely to have a repeat heart attack, stroke, or die of sudden death than those who took a placebo".

  11. Being deep water, non-oily fish, European sea bass contains moderate amounts of vitamin-A (154 IU/100g). Additionally, its omega-3 essential fatty acids help keep healthy mucosa and skin.

  12. 100 g of European sea bass filet holds pyridoxine (B-6)-0.400 mg (31% RDA), and niacin-1.6 mg (10% RDA). It is also a good source of vitamin E, vitamin B12, thiamin, and riboflavin.

  13. Branzino filet is a naturally rich source of minerals including selenium (36.5 μg or 66 RDA%), iodine, calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Iodine is an important trace element in human nutrition and is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Branzino, raw, Nutritive value per 100 g. (Source: USDA National Nutrient database)
Principle Nutrient Value Percent of RDA
Energy 97 Kcal 5%
Carbohydrates 0 g 0%
Protein 18.4 g 33%
Total Fat 2 g 10%
Cholesterol 41 mg 14%
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
Folate total 5 μg 1.25%
Niacin 1.6 mg 10%
Pyridoxine 0.4 mg 31%
Riboflavin 0.12 mg 9%
Thiamin 0.05 mg 4%
Vitamin-A 154 IU 5%
Vitamin-C 0 mg 0%
Vitamin-D 226 IU 56.5%
Vitamin-E 0.84 mg 5.60%
Sodium 58 mg 4%
Potassium 256 mg 5.5%
Calcium 10 mg 1%
Iron 0.29 mg 3.5%
Magnesium 41 mg 10%
Phosphorus 194 mg 28%
Selenium 36.5 mg 66%
Zinc 0.4 mg 3.6%
Omega-3 fats
EPA (20:5 n-3) 0.161 g --
DPA (22:5 n-3) 0.076 g --
DHA (22:6 n-3) 0.434 g --


Branzino is available year-round; whole fish, or as fillets in the US markets. They are best in spring or early summer before they spawn. Look for bright, firm fish with silvery skin, pink gills, and clear eyes.

Fresh, wild, line-caught sea bass fetches higher prices than farm produce. However, farmed bass is not only more affordable but available in plentiful supply all year round. Farmed bass are relatively large and have a slightly higher fat content.

At home, store fish and filets in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. For extended use, scale and gut whole before storing in the deep freezer.

Preparation and serving methods

If you buy whole fish, cleaning of branzino begins by cutting away the fins and then scaling its body. After that, make an incision along its belly and remove the innards. After gutting the fish, it must be washed thoroughly both on the inside and the outside and then mop-dried. It is then employed in cooking or wrapped with polythene and stored in the refrigerator.

Branzino is one of the finest fish, with very few bones firm flesh, and a delicate flavor that holds its shape in stuffing, grilling, or baking.

Here are some serving ideas:

Branzino. Photo credit: kyopia
  • Branzino is a versatile fish. Depending on the serve size; smaller fish can be used in stuffing with lemon slices and herbs. Large fish can be filleted and are great for grilling or pan-frying.

  • Prepare gratin with Sea bass, bacon, potatoes, capers in cream sauce

Safety profile

  1. Wild-caught Branzno has ratings 3 and 4 (yellow and amber). As there are better-rated alternatives under sustainability consideration, branzino fishing should be limited as much as possible.

  2. Methyl mercury levels in European sea bass is 0.167 Parts Per Million (PPM). Accordingly, the U.S FDA final guidelines on how much fish expectant as well as breastfeeding mothers can eat, along with lists of specific options that are safe or should be avoided, place sea bass under the best choice category. By this yardstick, they can consume 2-3 servings a week. (Medical disclaimer).

Also read ≻≻-

≻≻- Atlantic Cod nutrition facts and health benefits.

≻≻- Salmon nutrition facts and health benefits.

≻≻- Halibut nutrition facts and health benefits.

≻≻- Trout fish nutrition facts and health benefits.

≻≻- Back to Seafood from Branzino fish nutrition facts and health benefits.

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Further reading (Links opens in new window):

  1. Seafood guide -PDF.

  2. Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish.

  3. USDA National Nutrient database.

  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution.

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