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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8598-603.

Phytochemical and nutrient composition of the freeze-dried amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai).

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  • 1Natural and Medicinal Products Research, AIMBR Life Sciences, 4117 South Meridian, Puyallup, Washington 98373, USA.


Euterpe oleraceae is a large palm tree indigenous to the Amazon River and its tributaries and estuaries in South America. Its fruit, known as acai, is of great economic value to native people. In this study, a standardized freeze-dried acai fruit pulp/skin powder was used for all analyses and tests. Among many findings, anthocyanins (ACNs), proanthocyanidins (PACs), and other flavonoids were found to be the major phytochemicals. Two ACNs, cyandin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-rutinoside were found to be predominant ACNs; three others were also found as minor ACNs. The total content of ACNs was measured as 3.1919 mg/g dry weight (DW). Polymers were found to be the major PACs. The concentration of total PACs was calculated as 12.89 mg/g DW. Other flavonoids, namely, homoorientin, orientin, isovitexin, scoparin, and taxifolin deoxyhexose, along with several unknown flavonoids, were also detected. Resveratrol was found but at a very low concentration. In addition, components including fatty acids, amino acids, sterols, minerals, and other nutrients were analyzed and quantified. Total polyunsaturated fatty acid, total monounsaturated fatty acid, and total saturated fatty acids contributed to 11.1%, 60.2%, and 28.7% of total fatty acid. Oleic acid (53.9%) and palmitic acid (26.7%) were found to be the two dominant fatty acids. Nineteen amino acids were found; the total amino acid content was determined to be 7.59% of total weight. The total sterols accounted for 0.048% by weight of powder. The three sterols B-sitosterol, campesterol, and sigmasterol were identified. A complete nutrient analysis is also presented. Microbiological analysis was also performed.

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