Abstract

There are many native species from Cerrado that are used as food supply. However, their nutritional constitution is still unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate and quantify the nutritional composition of coquinho-azedo fruits, obtained from different regions and populations in Northern Minas Gerais, using multivariate analysis. Ripe fruits of various B. capitata populations were obtained from four locations in Northern Minas Gerais. Fruit samples were analyzed for total acidity, total sugars, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity, macro- and microelements. Results show that Butia capitata fruits are acidic given that values ​​of titratable acidity ranged from 1.57 to 2.61, and Brix values ​​ranged from 6.6° to 10.00°Bx. The total sugar content was relatively low with the lowest values ​​observed in groups 4, 5 and 8 from Cristalia (0.65, 0.75 and 0.78%, respectively). Ascorbic acid content also varied among populations and locations; the highest average (92.43) was observed in group 2 from Cristalia and the highest value (821.63 mg/100 g fw) was observed in group 7 from Bonito de Minas. The highest antioxidant activity value (58.39%) was observed in group 7 from Cristalia. Multivariate analysis grouped and separated populations that were genetically similar or dissimilar for ascorbic acid, antioxidant activity, total phenolic compounds and total sugars. The nutritional composition of B. capitata varied widely according to the sampled site and groups of plants. In general, the fruits contain high amounts of ascorbic acid, potassium and iron.   Key words: Arecaceae, ascorbic acid, antioxidant capacity, dendogram.

Highlights

  • Cerrado (Brazilian savannas) is the second largest biome in Brazil, and hosts a wide variety of native species (Klink and Machado, 2005), which are used for various purposes including the production of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and feed (Klink and Machado, 2005; Souza et al, 2012)

  • Fruit samples were analyzed for total acidity, total sugars, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity, macro- and microelements

  • Results show that Butia capitata fruits are acidic given that values of titratable acidity ranged from 1.57 to 2.61, and Brix values ranged from 6.6° to 10.00°Bx

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Summary

Introduction

Cerrado (Brazilian savannas) is the second largest biome in Brazil, and hosts a wide variety of native species (Klink and Machado, 2005), which are used for various purposes including the production of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and feed (Klink and Machado, 2005; Souza et al, 2012). Native fruits of the Cerrado regions are used locally and they are consumed fresh or processed in jams, jellies, liqueurs and pastries (Almeida et al, 2011) They are very important for local economy because they help farmers and rural worker cooperatives to generate income. Becc is a palm tree belonging to the Arecaceae family It is native of Cerrado and found in the states of Goiás, Bahia and Minas Gerais (Lorenzi et al, 2010). This fruit is widely consumed in these regions; the fruits are constituted of a drupe oval yellowish, red or purplish epicarp and a yellow, succulent, and fibrous mesocarp (Moura et al, 2008). These are used for fresh consumption or pulp manufacturing, and are marketed regionally, or used for the production of jams, jellies, liqueurs, ice cream and popsicles (Faria et al, 2008)

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