What is bottarga?

Bottarga is fish roe usually from mullet or tuna. The mullet roe is formed from pockets of oviparous females of the flathead grey mullet. It is a mature product with the addition of salt.

Similar to the bottarga from mullet is the roe of tuna, with a more savory taste. It can be produced starting from the ovarian sacs of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), or from those of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares).


What are the nutritional properties?

100g of mullet roe bring about 373 calories broken down as follows:

  • 62% lipid
  • 38% protein


In particular, in 100 g of bottarga are:

  • 30.5 gwater
  • 35.5 g of protein
  • 25.7 g of lipids
  • 440 mg of cholesterol


Salting the roe makes it rich in sodium.


When should you not eat mullet roe?

There are no known interactions between the consumption of mullet or tuna roe and the intake of drugs or other substances. In case of doubt it is good to seek advice from your doctor.


Seasonality of bottarga

Mullet roe is processed in September, while the production of the tuna starts around May. The final product is available on the market all year round.


Possible benefits and drawbacks of bottarga

The main advantage resulting from the consumption of roe is the intake of high quality protein. Leelevate amount of sodium and cholesterol present in this food they make it unadvisable at a high level consumption. An excess of sodium may in fact promote water retention, with consequent increase in the risk of edema and hypertension; for this should not be taken more than 2 grams per day (the amount made from 5 g of salt). The daily cholesterol level should however not exceed 300 mg. In fact, this lipid, if present in too high concentrations can build up in artery walls, promoting atherosclerosis and its complications (including heart attack and stroke). That is why people suffering from cardiovascular problems should be further limited in its intake, limiting it to 200 mg per day.