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Avocado: Characteristics, health benefits and uses

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Avocado: Characteristics, health benefits and uses

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This study aimed to present a literature review about the characteristics, applications, and potential of avocado (Persea americana). Avocado is considered one of the main tropical fruits, as it contains fat-soluble vitamins which are less common in other fruits, besides high levels of protein, potassium and unsaturated fatty acids. Avocado pulp contains variable oil content, and is widely used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, and in the production of commercial oils similar to olive oil. This fruit has been recognized for its health benefits, especially due to the compounds present in the lipidic fraction, such as omega fatty acids, phytosterols, tocopherols and squalene. Studies have shown the benefits of avocado associated to a balanced diet, especially in reducing cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular diseases. The processed avocado pulp is an alternative to utilize fruits, which can be used in various value-added food products. Fluid extract of the avocado leaves is widely used in pharmaceutical products, mainly due to the diuretic characteristic of the present compounds in plant leaves. With the increasing research supporting the nutritional characteristics and benefits of avocado, the tendency is to increase the production and exploitation of this raw material in Brazil, as also observed in other countries. © 2016, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. All rights reserved.
Avocado: characteristics, health benets and uses.
Ciência Rural, v.46, n.4, abr, 2016.
747
Avocado: characteristics, health benets and uses
Abacate: características, benefícios à saúde e aplicações
Patrícia Fonseca Duarte
I
Marcia Alves Chaves
II
Caroline Dellinghausen Borges
III
Carla Rosane Barboza Mendonça
III*
ISSN 1678-4596
Ciência Rural, Santa Maria, v.46, n.4, p.747-754, abr, 2016
Received 10.13.14 Approved 09.08.15 Returned by the author 02.04.16
CR-2014-1516.R3
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0103-8478cr20141516
ABSTRACT
This study aimed to present a literature review about
the characteristics, applications, and potential of avocado (Persea
americana). Avocado is considered one of the main tropical fruits,
as it contains fat-soluble vitamins which are less common in other
fruits, besides high levels of protein, potassium and unsaturated
fatty acids. Avocado pulp contains variable oil content, and is
widely used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, and in
the production of commercial oils similar to olive oil. This fruit
has been recognized for its health benets, especially due to the
compounds present in the lipidic fraction, such as omega fatty
acids, phytosterols, tocopherols and squalene. Studies have shown
the benets of avocado associated to a balanced diet, especially in
reducing cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular diseases. The
processed avocado pulp is an alternative to utilize fruits, which can
be used in various value-added food products. Fluid extract of the
avocado leaves is widely used in pharmaceutical products, mainly
due to the diuretic characteristic of the present compounds in plant
leaves. With the increasing research supporting the nutritional
characteristics and benets of avocado, the tendency is to increase
the production and exploitation of this raw material in Brazil, as
also observed in other countries.
Key words: avocado tree, avocado oil, unsaturated fatty acid,
bioactive compounds.
RESUMO
Objetivou-se com este trabalho apresentar uma revisão
da literatura sobre as características, aplicações e potencialidades
do abacate (Persea americana). O abacate é considerado um dos
principais frutos tropicais, pois possui as vitaminas lipossolúveis
que, em geral, são decientes nas outras frutas. Além destas,
contém proteínas e elevados teores de potássio e ácidos graxos
insaturados. Apresenta quantidade variável de óleo na polpa,
sendo esta vastamente utilizada nas indústrias farmacêutica e de
cosméticos, e na obtenção de óleos comerciais similares ao azeite
de oliva. Esse fruto tem sido reconhecido por seus benefícios à
saúde, especialmente em função dos compostos presentes na
fração lipídica, como ácidos graxos ômega, toesterois, tocoferois
e esqualeno. Estudos têm demonstrado os benefícios do abacate
associado a uma dieta balanceada, principalmente, na redução do
colesterol e na prevenção de doenças cardiovasculares. A polpa do
abacate na forma processada é uma alternativa para aproveitar os
frutos, passível de ser utilizada em diversos produtos alimentícios
de maior valor agregado. O extrato uido das folhas do abacateiro
é muito utilizado em produtos farmacêuticos, principalmente, pelo
caráter diurético de compostos presentes nas folhas da planta.
Com o aumento das pesquisas que comprovam as características
nutricionais e os benefícios do abacate, a tendência é aumentar a
produção e exploração dessa matéria-prima no Brasil, como já
acontece em outros países.
Palavras-chave: abacateiro, óleo de abacate, ácidos graxos
insaturados, compostos bioativos.
INTRODUCTION
In 2011, world avocado production
reached 4.4 million tons, increasing about 20% from
2007 to 2011. Mexico is the largest avocado producer,
accounting for 25% of the world production, followed
by Chile with 8.5% (FAO, 2013). The increasing
productivity has occurred due to advances in post-
harvest technologies, reduction in trade barriers,
I
Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciência dos Alimentos, Centro de Ciências Químicas, Farmacêuticas e de Alimentos, Universidade
Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), Pelotas, RS, Brasil.
II
Programa de Pós-gradução em Ciência de Alimentos, Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), Maringá, PR, Brasil.
III
Centro de Ciências Químicas, Farmacêuticas e de Alimentos, Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), Campus Universitário, CP 354,
96010-900, Pelotas, RS, Brasil. E-mail: carlaufpel@hotmail.com.
*
Corresponding author.
FOOD TECHNOLOGY
748
Duarte et al.
Ciência Rural, v.46, n.4, abr, 2016.
strong health related claims, and increased incentives
and cultivated areas in the producing countries
(ALMEIDA & SAMPAIO, 2013).
Brazil is the 9
th
largest avocado producer,
with 160,400 tons harvested in 10,750 hectares, in
2011. Avocado is the 17
th
most produced fruit in the
country, and São Paulo state is the largest producer
(47.5%), followed by Minas Gerais (19.0%) and
Paraná (11.2%) (ALMEIDA & SAMPAIO, 2013).
Avocado is an energetic fruit with high
nutritional value and is considered a major tropical
fruit, since it is rich in protein and contains fat-
soluble vitamins lacking in other fruits, including
Vitamins A and B, and median levels of vitamins
D and E. It contains different oil levels in the
pulp, thus it is widely used in pharmaceutical and
cosmetic industries, and for obtaining commercial
oils similar to olive oil, because of their similar
fatty acid composition (BLEINROTH & CASTRO,
1992). In addition, this fruit has been recognized
for its health benets, especially due to the
compounds present in the lipid fraction, such as
omega fatty acids, phytosterols, tocopherols, and
squalene (SANTOS et al., 2014b).
This study aimed to present a literature
review on the characteristics and applications of
avocado (Persea americana), and its health benets
and potential uses of this poorly processed raw
material in Brazil.
The avocado crop
The avocado tree originally from Mexico
and Central America belongs to the Lauraceae family,
genus Perseal and comprises two subgenres: Persea
and Eriodaphne. The avocado grown for agricultural
interests belong to two species of the genus Persea, being
divided into three botanical varieties: Persea americana
Miller var. Drymifolia (Mexican species); Persea
americana Miller var. American (West Indian species);
and Persea nubigena Miller var. Guatemalensis
(Guatemalan species) (KOLLER, 1992).
The main climatic requirements of the
avocado tree are related to the temperature and rain
fall, and the varieties behave differently according to
their race. The Antillean race (common), originating
in the lowland regions of South America and Central
America, has large fruits of piriform shape, with low
oil content (less than 8%), and is resistant to low
temperatures, supporting up to -2°C. Varieties of the
Guatemalan race, originating from the highlands of
Central America, have fruit round in shape, with late
maturation and higher oil content (8-20%), and are
more resistant to the cold than the Antillean race,
which resist up to -4°C. In contrast, the Mexican
races, originating in the highlands of Mexico and the
Andes, are characterized for small fruits and high oil
content (greater than 20%), and are the most resistant
to low temperatures (up to -6°C) (ALMEIDA &
SAMPAIO, 2013; HORTIBRASIL, 2013).
The avocado tree has a very high fruit yield,
reaching a production of 138kg at 7 years after planting.
It is a perennial plant and can be grown on rough
locations, not competing with the annuals adapted to
at lands (BLEINROTH & CASTRO, 1992).
The fruits of variety Quintal are hybrids
of Antillean and Guatemalan races, large sized (500-
800 grams), piriform, with green-smooth skin, yellow
esh, medium to large seeds, and relatively loose
within the fruit. It is the most consumed variety in
Brazil, and its lipid fraction comprises approximately
63% of omega-9 fatty acids (KOLLER, 1992). The
avocado of the variety Hass is the most exported
worldwide and has an average size of 180 to 300g
(BORGES & MELO, 2011).
Avocado growth and development is
intense, differing from other fruit species. After
harvest, the fruit completes maturation, with major
changes in metabolism and higher respiratory rate,
and thus high production of ethylene, being highly
perishable under environmental conditions leading to
the production of high amounts of waste. In this sense,
the avocado pulp processing can contribute to its best
use, either as a food product or for oil extraction
(KLUGE et al., 2002; SENAI, 2006; ROCHA, 2008).
Fruit care and conservation
In addition to its natural perishability,
several factors such as mechanical damage,
compression and cut, physiological, chemical and
biochemical changes are responsible to changes
in color, aroma, taste and texture of the fruit
(SANCHES et al., 2008).
Although immediate external effects are
not observed after impact, the pulp may be partially or
completely dark when the fruit is ripe (BLEINROTH &
CASTRO, 1992; SANCHES et al., 2008). In the post-
harvest, refrigerated packaging (4-7°C) is recommended
to delay rot development. Wax application can also
improve the appearance and increase the fruit’s shelf life
by reducing the transpiration rate and metabolic activity
(DARVAS et al., 1990).
The cold storage to improve conservation
can negatively affect lipids concentration and the
longer the storage at low temperatures, the lower
the fat content of the fruit (TREMOCOLDI, 2011).
KLUGE et al. (2002) showed that the variety Quintal
Avocado: characteristics, health benets and uses.
Ciência Rural, v.46, n.4, abr, 2016.
749
can be stored for 14 days at 7°C and 85-90% relative
humidity and then the commercialization can be at
room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
Another inconvenience that depreciates
the commercial value of the avocado is the enzymatic
browning catalyzed by the enzyme polyphenol oxidase
(PPO) and the degradative reactions of peroxidase
(POD). The activity of these enzymes in various
fruits and vegetables leads to considerable economic
losses, in addition to reducing the nutritional and
sensory quality. In some avocado varieties, the PPO
activity increases after climacteric fruit ripening, with
differences between varieties of the same species
(LUÍZ et al., 2007). To control enzymatic browning
reactions, acidulants such as citric acid may be added
to preserve the fruit and to enable its use in food
products (LUGO et al., 2006).
Whereas avocado is a climacteric fruit,
the plant hormone ethylene can be controlled to
extend its shelf-life using chemical compounds. For
this purpose, the compound 1-methylcyclopropene,
ethylene action inhibitor has been used. Its application
can be in a gaseous state, being effective for 24 hours
at 20°C and at concentrations ranging from 30nL L
-1
to 500nL L
-1
(PEREIRA et al., 2010).
Nutritional and physicochemical characteristics of
avocado
Avocado is consumed in various forms
in northern South America, Central America and
Mexico, as puree salads, seasoned with salt, pepper,
vinegar and other condiments, as well as being used
in the preparation of other dishes (KOLLER, 1992).
In Brazil, the ripe fruit is more appreciated, together
with sugar, honey and liqueurs, and consumption
is inuenced mainly by its sensory and nutritional
characteristics (LUÍZ et al., 2007).
The pulp content in several varieties
is between 52.9 and 81.3%, relative to fruit
mass (TANGO et al., 2004). High lipids and low
carbohydrate levels remain in avocado pulp after
water removal, thus conferring a high dry matter
content to the product. Therefore, it is considered
one of the few cultured fruits presenting the lipid
fraction as the major component (TREMOCOLDI,
2011), which can reach up to 25% of the fruit portion
(HIERRO et al., 1992; ABREU et al., 2009).
The avocado pulp contains from 67 to 78%
moisture, 13.5 to 24 % lipids, 0.8 to 4.8% carbohydrate,
1.0 to 3.0% protein, 0.8 to 1.5% ash, 1.4 to 3.0%
ber, and energy density between 140 and 228kcal
(SOARES & ITO, 2000). Avocado has four (4) times
more nutritional value than any other fruit except
banana, containing proteins (1 to 3%) and signicant
levels of fat-soluble vitamins (FRANCISCO &
BAPTISTELLA, 2005), folic acid, and appreciable
amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium,
phosphorus, sulfur and silicon, and vitamins E, B1, B2,
and D (DEMBITSKY et al., 2011).
The fruit stands out on potassium levels
(339mg 100g
-1
) when compared to other fruits, which
regulates muscle activity and protects the body from
cardiovascular diseases (CANCIAM et al., 2008). It
also represents a source of glutathione, a powerful
antioxidant that acts on potentially carcinogenic
compounds (WANG et al., 2012).
Bioactive compounds in avocados
In addition to the important major
compounds, avocado contains substantial amounts of
bioactive compounds such as phytosterols, especially
in the lipid fraction, and the main representative is
the β-sitosterol (SALGADO et al, 2008b; SANTOS
et al, 2014b). Diets rich in phytosterols can lead to the
reduction of the total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
(LOTTENBERG, 2002). A 17% decrease average in
blood cholesterol levels was observed in a study in
Mexico with 45 volunteers who consumed avocado
once a day for one week (BORGES & MELO, 2011).
Phytosterol is a substance of vegetable
origin whose structure is very similar to cholesterol.
Its mechanism of action in the body involves the
inhibition of intestinal cholesterol absorption and
decreased hepatic cholesterol synthesis. According
to BRUFAU et al. (2008), it acts on total plasma
cholesterol and LDL cholesterol without affecting
HDL and blood triglycerides. The benet of
cholesterol reduction also comes from replacing
saturated by unsaturated fats, which promote a
decrease in total cholesterol and LDL and an increase
in HDL levels (SALGADO et al., 2008a).
The β-sitosterol in avocados also has
a special effect on immunity, contributing to the
treatment of diseases such as cancer, HIV and
infections. In relation to cancer, it works by suppressing
carcinogenesis and in HIV by strengthening the
immune system (BOUIC, 2002). This compound
enhances lymphocytes proliferation and natural
killer cell activity, which inactivates invading
microorganisms (BOUIC et al., 1996). In addition,
studies have shown that the β-sitosterol activity is
an aid in weight loss by reducing compulsive eating
binge and fat accumulation in the abdominal region
(SENAI, 2006; MURTA, 2013).
The health effects of sterols and stanols
have been the subject of several studies. Some authors
750
Duarte et al.
Ciência Rural, v.46, n.4, abr, 2016.
have demonstrated a 25% reduction in the risk of
coronary heart disease with the consumption of 2g of
such compounds per day, which are included in the
formulations of margarines, spreads, and vegetable
oils by esterication without affecting vitamins
solubility (TURATTI, 2002).
The avocado oil variety Margarida contains
a greater diversity of sterols, and β-sitosterol represents
71.8% of the total sterols, besides lower cholesterol
levels (0.3%), which can achieve up to 2.3% in other
varieties (SALGADO et al., 2008b). SANTOS et al.
(2014b) investigated the oil from Fortuna avocado
extracted with petroleum ether and subjected to drying
under forced air (40°C), and found 87.6% β-sitosterol,
12.41% campesterol, and 0.04% stigmasterol of the
total phytosterols. Avocado also has a carotenoid
named lutein that helps protect against prostate
cancer and eye diseases such as cataracts and macular
degeneration (JOHNSON, 2005).
Avocado oil
The avocado pulp contains high lipids
content, which makes the pulp the portion of greatest
interest. Lipids vary from 5 to 35%, being formed
mostly by unsaturated fatty acids (60-84%) (BORGES
& MELO, 2011). The avocado varieties with lower
core and shell percentages are most interesting for oil
extraction due to higher pulp yield, and the variety
Quintal stands out (TANGO et al., 2004).
The high moisture content in fresh pulp
is the main obstacle for obtaining avocado oil as it
affects the extraction yield and production costs.
Thus, the varieties most suitable for oil extraction,
considering 18% lipids and low moisture levels in
the pulp are: Hass, Fuerte and Glória, followed by the
varieties Collinson, Anaheim, Itzamna, Wagner, Ouro
Verde, Carlsbad and Mayapan (TANGO et al., 2004).
The traditional cold pressing method for
vegetable oils was replaced by solvent extraction.
Although some authors have reported a yield of 59%
in oil extraction from eshy pulp when using hexane,
this value decreased to 12% when acetone was used as
solvent (ABREU et al., 2009). However, the hexane
residue in the extracted oil and cake may pose risks.
SANTOS et al. (2013) evaluated the
extraction yield of Fortuna avocados oil as a function
of the drying process (freeze-drying or air ow:
40 to 70°C) and extraction method (pressing and
solvent) of a pulp containing 5 to 6.5% moisture.
The authors reported oil contents between 25 and
33% by cold pressing and between 45 and 57% by
solvent extraction, while the freeze-drying method
showed higher oil yield than the oven drying under
forced air. The enzyme-assisted aqueous extraction
has emerged as an alternative and environmentally
friendly extraction process (ABREU et al., 2009).
The small avocado oil volume currently
produced by some countries is used in its raw form
by the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries,
once its unsaponiable fraction is responsible for
regenerative properties of the epidermis. Avocado oil
is easily absorbed by the skin, with high absorption
power of perfumes, which is of great value to the
cosmetics industry. In addition, it easily forms an
emulsion, ideal for the manufacture of ne soaps
(TANGO et al., 2004).
In comparison to other vegetable oils,
avocado oil is characterized by having high levels of
monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic and palmitoleic
acids), low polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic
acid), and relatively high levels of saturated fatty
acid (palmitic and stearic acids). This fatty acid
composition is inuenced by the cultivars, maturity
stage, anatomical region of the fruit, and geographic
location for plant growth (TANGO et al., 2004).
ROCHA (2008) has reported that avocado
oil from the varieties Wagner, Fortuna, Hass and Fuerte
had higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acid (MFA)
ranging from 59 to 72% of total fatty acids, followed
by saturated fatty acids (SFA), from 17 to 23%, and
polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) to a lesser extent
with levels ranging between 10 and 14%.
SANTOS et al. (2014a) determined the
fatty acids prole of Fortuna avocado, evaluating the
effect of the pulp drying process (freeze-drying or air
circulation: 40 and 70°C) and oil extraction method
(solvent or pressing). The authors reported that oleic
fatty acid represented more than half of the total fatty
acids of this raw material, together with substantial
amounts of unsaturated linoleic and palmitoleic acids.
They also veried that the dehydration of the pulp
can affect the fatty acid prole since the oil extracted
from the lyophilized pulp contained higher levels of
unsaturated fatty acids. With respect to the extraction
method, no signicant effects were observed.
Avocado oils from the varieties Northrop,
Duke, Wagner, Quintal, and Fuerte are characterized
by having more than 63% oleic acid, while the oils
from the varieties Rincon, Barker, Waldin, Prince
and Panchoy showed less than 50% of this fatty acid.
Palmitic acid content ranged between 15.38 and
32.37% in oils from different varieties. Therefore,
the avocado variety affects the levels of palmitic acid
and oleic acid, once varieties with high oleic acid
levels had low palmitic acid levels and vice versa
(BLEINROTH & CASTRO, 1992). In addition to
Avocado: characteristics, health benets and uses.
Ciência Rural, v.46, n.4, abr, 2016.
751
its fatty acid composition, these oils contain other
bioactive minor components such as tocopherols,
squalene, b-sitosterol, campesterol, and cycloartenol
acetate, with positive effects on health (DEMBITSKY
et al., 2011; SANTOS et al., 2014b).
Besides the possibility of using pure
avocado oil as a substitute for olive oil, the combination
of olive oil and avocado oil to replace olive oil
mixtures (mainly using soybean oil) usually offered by
the internal market is a promising alternative to reduce
costs of Brazilian olive oil imports (SALGADO et
al., 2008b). Avocado oil for salad dressings should be
submitted to winterization to eliminate the saturated
triglycerides, which can cloud the oil stored at low
temperatures (SALGADO et al., 2008b).
Although the lipid extraction process
generates large accumulation of pulp residues in the
processing industries, the high ber content of this
by-product allows its use for preparation of our
to be used in bakery products like cookies, breads,
and pasta thereby increasing the supply of ber-rich
products (CHAVES et al., 2013).
Applications and forms of preservation of avocado
pulp
The processed products of avocado pulp
include the paste, puree, and guacamole. Guacamole
is a fruit pulp seasoned with salt, onion, lemon, pepper
and tomato, being produced not only in an artisanal
way but also marketed by some US companies
(DAIUTO et al., 2011).
The sensory quality of guacamole of
Hass variety made without chemical additives and
stored under refrigeration was evaluated according
to the type of packaging used. A greater consumers’
acceptance was observed for the product stored in
container with gas barrier when compared to that
stored in polyethylene package (DAIUTO et al.,
2011). Although these authors have also considered
that the heat treatment may have been effective on the
polyphenol oxidase inactivation, it can result in the
development of bitterness and off-avors in avocado,
which changes the guacamole texture, negatively
contributing to a mashed appearance.
CHAVES et al. (2013) studied avocado
pulp Margarida variety dehydrated and defatted by
cold pressing and avocado oil to partially replace
wheat our and butter, respectively, in whole grain
crackers. The authors reported that the our from
avocado pulp, in general, showed characteristics
similar to those of conventional our and whole
wheat our. The biscuits had higher minerals and
ber levels, with good sensory acceptance.
Meat derivatives can also be supplemented
with avocado pulp, since most of these processed
foods contain relatively high levels of saturated fats
in the formulation whose consumption is restricted
by health issues. Thus, an alternative to reduce and
enhance fatty acids balance is the incorporation of
fats or vegetable oils in emulsied meat products
(KAYAARDI & GÖK, 2004; LUGO et al., 2006).
The replacement of animal fats by vegetable oils in
meat products has been studied with positive effects
on the chemical, physical and sensory characteristics
of the products, but with negative effects on water
activity and texture (LUGO et al., 2006).
Products that contain high levels of vegetable
oil, like avocado, are sensitive to oxidation, resulting in
rancidity and hence production of undesirable avors
and loss of quality during storage. ELEZ-MARTINEZ
et al. (2005) demonstrated the possibility to control
oxidative rancidity in processed avocado puree with
the use of α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid.
Several preservation methods have been
studied to obtain a stable avocado pulp, including
pasteurization, drying, oil extraction, freezing, and
freeze-drying (PALOU et al, 2000; SOLIVA et al., 2001;
SOLIVA-FORTUNY et al, 2004). Use of microwave
heating and copper chloride to preserve color of mashed
avocado has been also investigated (GUZMÁN et
al., 2002). Furthermore, chemical reducing agents,
sequestrants, acids, nitrogen atmosphere and vacuum
(SOLIVA et al., 2001) and high hydrostatic pressure
treatment have been studied (JACOBO-VELÁZQUEZ
& HERNÁNDEZ-BRENES, 2012).
By-products
Avocado seed is underutilized and
represents a large portion of the fruit, thus its use
can be an alternative to reduce the production cost
of edible oil. However, the main problem in the
use of avocado seeds is the presence of phenolic
compounds that exhibit toxicity. Studies have shown
that the seeds can be used in feed for monogastric
animals after extraction of these substances with
ethanol (ICHIMARU et al., 1982). The extract may
present antioxidant activity, once the phenolics
levels in seeds vary from 2.3 to 5.7%. In addition to
the starch and ber, there are other non-nitrogenous
substances present in seeds, ranging from 5.1 to
13.2% (SALGADO et al., 2008a).
Avocado leaves are a pharmaceutical
ingredient widely used in extracts for therapeutic
purposes, and also as teas in folk medicine
(VENDRUSCOLO & MENTZ, 2006), probably due
to the diuretic properties (WRIGHT et al., 2007).
752
Duarte et al.
Ciência Rural, v.46, n.4, abr, 2016.
Phytochemicals as orhamnetin, luteolin,
rutin, quercetin, and apigenin have been isolated
from avocado leaves, which can help prevent the
progress of various diseases related to oxidative
stress (OWOLABI et al., 2010).
CONCLUSION
Avocado can be an excellent alternative for
industry, especially for pulp processing or oil extraction,
considering its composition and the benets of its
compounds. Furthermore, the great diversity of plant
species should be taken into consideration, since it
provides the spread of cultivation and good availability of
fruit, regardless of the time of year. This crop can be used
for exportation and oil extraction, application in processed
products, or as raw material in the pharmaceutical
and cosmetic industries, generating high value added
products. The pulp residue from oil extraction may also
be used for manufacture of food products.
Several studies have demonstrated the health
benets of a balanced diet with avocado intake, especially
in lowering cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular
diseases. With increasing research on the nutritional
characteristics and avocado benets, it is expected an
increase in production and exploitation of this raw
material in Brazil, as observed in other countries.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors thank the research funds from MCTI/
Universal Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientíco e
Tecnólogico (CNPq) 14/2014 agreements nº 443288/2014-3 and
avocado producer Mr. José Carlos Oliveira.
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... The avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is a single-seeded fruit from the Lauraceae family (Silva & Ledesma, 2014). The avocado is highly sought after because of its delicate taste and health characteristics which are attributed to its high content of fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins (Duarte et al., 2016). The postharvest quality of avocados is affected by preharvest fungal pathogens, storage conditions and agronomical practices that result in postharvest development of fruit disease symptoms at the market end of the supply chain (Hernández et al., 2016;Korsten et al., 1997;Ramírez-Gil et al., 2019). ...
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... Avocado fruits have been primarily used for human consumption, and to a lesser extent, as raw material in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries [4]. However, only the pulp of avocado is valued for commercial usance while other fruit fractions such as the seed and peel are considered obsolete and usually throw away as waste products. ...
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