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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Apr 22;57(8):3204-9. doi: 10.1021/jf900541r.

Fatty acids, sterols, and antioxidant activity in minimally processed avocados during refrigerated storage.

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Department of Plant Foods Science and Technology, Instituto del Frío, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain.


Avocado ( Persea americana Mill.) is a good source of bioactive compounds such as monounsaturated fatty acids and sterols. The impact of minimal processing on its health-promoting attributes was investigated. Avocados cut into slices or halves were packaged in plastic bags under nitrogen, air, or vacuum and stored at 8 degrees C for 13 days. The stabilities of fatty acids and sterols as well as the effect on antioxidant activity were evaluated. The main fatty acid identified and quantified in avocado was oleic acid (about 57% of total content), whereas beta-sitosterol was found to be the major sterol (about 89% of total content). In general, after refrigerated storage, a significant decrease in fatty acid content was observed. Vacuum/halves and air/slices were the samples that maintained better this content. With regard to phytosterols, there were no significant changes during storage. Antioxidant activity showed a slight positive correlation against stearic acid content. At the end of refrigerated storage, a significant increase in antiradical efficiency (AE) was found for vacuum samples. AE values were quite similar among treatments. Hence, minimal processing can be a useful tool to preserve health-related properties of avocado fruit.

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