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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jun 25;56(12):4631-6. doi: 10.1021/jf800161u. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Chemical composition, antioxidant properties, and thermal stability of a phytochemical enriched oil from Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.).

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.


Phenolic compounds present in crude oil extracts from acai fruit ( Euterpe oleracea) were identified for the first time. The stability of acai oil that contained three concentrations of phenolics was evaluated under short- and long-term storage for lipid oxidation and phenolic retention impacting antioxidant capacity. Similar to acai fruit itself, acai oil isolates contained phenolic acids such as vanillic acid (1,616 +/- 94 mg/kg), syringic acid (1,073 +/- 62 mg/kg), p-hydroxybenzoic acid (892 +/- 52 mg/kg), protocatechuic acid (630 +/- 36 mg/kg), and ferulic acid (101 +/- 5.9 mg/kg) at highly enriched concentrations in relation to acai pulp as well as (+)-catechin (66.7 +/- 4.8 mg/kg) and numerous procyanidin oligomers (3,102 +/- 130 mg/kg). Phenolic acids experienced up to 16% loss after 10 weeks of storage at 20 or 30 degrees C and up to 33% loss at 40 degrees C. Procyanidin oligomers degraded more extensively (23% at 20 degrees C, 39% at 30 degrees C, and 74% at 40 degrees C), in both high- and low-phenolic acai oils. The hydrophilic antioxidant capacity of acai oil isolates with the highest phenolic concentration was 21.5 +/- 1.7 micromol Trolox equivalents/g, and the total soluble phenolic content was 1252 +/- 11 mg gallic acid equivalents/kg, and each decreased by up to 30 and 40%, respectively, during long-term storage. The short-term heating stability at 150 and 170 degrees C for up to 20 min exhibited only minor losses (<10%) in phenolics and antioxidant capacity. Because of its high phenolic content, the phytochemical-enriched acai oil from acai fruit offers a promising alternative to traditional tropical oils for food, supplements, and cosmetic applications.

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