Grasas y Aceites, Vol 69, No 2 (2018)

Bioactive compounds and functional potential of pequi (Caryocar spp.), a native Brazilian fruit: a review


https://doi.org/10.3989/gya.1222172

L. R.O. Torres
Department of Food Science and Experimental Nutrition, University of São Paulo - Federal Institute of Education, Science, and Technology of Maranhão,, Brazil
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4563-8353

F. C. Santana
Department of Food Science and Experimental Nutrition, University of São Paulo, Brazil
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8545-6570

F. B. Shinagawa
Department of Food Science and Experimental Nutrition, University of São Paulo, Brazil
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5147-9398

J. Mancini-Filho
Department of Food Science and Experimental Nutrition, University of São Paulo, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9863-8920

Abstract


Pequi is an indigenous word that means “thorny covering” and is used to describe fruits from the Caryocar spp. These fruits are widely consumed as food and used in traditional medicine by Brazilians in the savannah (Cerrado biome) and the Amazon region. The fruit is rich in lipids, mainly oleic acid, and other bioactive substances including carotenoids, phenolics, and tocopherols. The oil extracted from the pulp or “almond” (seed) has a high local socioeconomic impact and is associated with nutritional and therapeutic benefits. A wide array of health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and antimicrobial effects, improved cardiac function, as well as an increased lymphocyte-dependent immunity have been attributed to the pequi fruit, especially its pulp. This review provides a comprehensive overview on the edible parts of pequi fruits (pulp and almond), more specifically the oil produced from these parts, as a source of functional compounds with biological activity. Moreover, it considers the differences among the three more commercially-important species from the genus Caryocar.

Keywords


Bioactive compounds; Caryocaraceae; Fruit; Health benefits; Oleic acid

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