Article

Açaí (Euterpe oleraceae) 'BRS Pará': A tropical fruit source of antioxidant dietary fiber and high antioxidant capacity oil

Food Research International (Impact Factor: 3.05). 08/2011; 44:2100-06. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2010.09.011

ABSTRACT This article reports a study of the concentrations of dietary fiber (DF) and antioxidant capacity in fruits (pulp and oil) of a new açaí (Euterpe oleraceae) cultivar—‘BRS-Pará’, with a view to determine the possibility of using it as a source of antioxidants in functional foods or dietary supplements. Results show that ‘BRS-Pará’ açaí fruits has a high content of DF (71% dry matter) and oil (20.82%) as well as a high antioxidant capacity in both defatted matter and oil. ‘BRS-Pará’ Açaí fruits can be considered as an excellent source of antioxidant dietary fiber. Antioxidant capacity of açaí ‘BRS-Pará’ oil by DPPH assay was higher (EC50=646.3g/g DPPH) than extra virgin olive oil (EC50=2057.27g/g DPPH). These features provide açaí ‘BRS-Pará’ fruits with considerable potential for nutritional and health applications.

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    ABSTRACT: In recent decades, the food industry has been meeting the growing demand of consumers in search of foods that have benefits that go beyond their nutritional value, and this sector has generated billions of dollars in the global market. Lifestyle, the convenience and speed of the preparation and the modification of eating habits among the population all reflect the increasing incidence of chronic diseases caused by eating high-calorie foods and a lack of exercise. Advances in food science knowledge have become available to demonstrate the function and mechanism of action of bioactive compounds, and they support the inclusion of ingredients and the design and development of foods that contribute to a healthy diet that is associated with a healthy lifestyle. Although functional foods should be consumed as such and not in the form of supplements or capsules, the introduction of bioactive ingredients or components into the formulation and processes of these supplements can be a tool for industry innovation and contributes to the ability to offer products with additional quality. Traditionally, dairy products were associated with health benefits, and in part, they still have this status; thus, innovations in this area are generally associated with the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) or products containing probiotic microorganisms or the addition of functional ingredients and bioactive metabolites. Various procedures, such as encapsulation, could be used to protect and maintain the viability of microorganisms in foods. There is atendency towards the use of cheap and sustainable new materials with properties consistent with ingredient control release. The concept of functional starter cultures that per se may not be probiotics but may improve product quality or result in physiological effects for the consumer is a possibility that should be explored. In addition to the probiotic properties, other choices include the use of in situ cultures that inhibit pathogenic contaminants by antimicrobial action; degrade or remove toxic compounds; produce vitamins or exopolysaccharides (EPSs); contribute to viscosity, body or texture; and facilitate adherence to specific sites in the host. The action of binding EPS mucoid bacteria to the protein matrix results in increased viscous behaviour, and some EPSs produced by LAB are beneficial to health due to their prebiotic and hypocholesterolemic effects, immunomodulation ability or anticancer activity. Confirming these observations, some authors reported that the production of exopolysaccharides by certain bifidobacteria can increase the viscosity of fermented foods, contributing to the rheological properties, and therefore can be considered to be natural additives preferred by consumers that can replace plant or animal stabilisers. The use of the special characteristics of LAB to potentiate their effects in foods or food supplies to vegetarians and people with dietary or religious restrictions provides an alternative to differentiated products. This category includes foods that are lactose free, have an increased fibre content, are free of animal products, and have an increased amount of antioxidant bioactive compounds (e.g., isoflavones, aglycones, oligosaccharides). Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of beneficial substances (e.g., antioxidants, vitamins, fibre and minerals), and the addition of LAB and probiotics can add more features. The knowledge of their behaviour in fruit and vegetable matrices as vehicles for the use of probiotics or bioactive ingredients is fundamental and still largely unexplored in the literature or in industrial processes. There is, however, a need for the emerging pressure or process as a whole to be consistent with sustainable practices throughout the production chain in terms of the economic, environmental or social issues. Each step of the process that adds value to a product or avoids the generation of waste or effluent will be in agreement with the goals of clean production. This chapter will focus on the recovery of by-products and innovative uses of plant materials and the strengthening of the resources for and beneficial effects of combining foods to obtain value-added functional products and offer alternatives to consumers searching for ways to improve their health through specialty foods.
    Food Industry, 01/2013: chapter Differentiated Foods for consumers with new demands: pages 163-190; , ISBN: 978-953-51-0911-2
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