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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2014;77(1-3):80-9. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2014.866923.

Açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.): a tropical fruit with high levels of essential minerals-especially manganese-and its contribution as a source of natural mineral supplementation.

Author information

1
a Laboratório de Toxicologia e Essencialidade de Metais, Departamento de Análises Clínicas , Toxicológicas e Bromatológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto-FCFRP-USP , Ribeirão Preto , SP , Brazil.

Abstract

Açaí is a fruit from the Brazilian Amazon region, with an exotic flavor, possessing high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Based on these properties, the fruit is classified as one of the new "super fruits." The mean daily consumption of açai pulp may reach 300 ml in several Brazilian regions. Further, this fruit is also gaining popularity in Europe and North America. In this context, the aim of this study was to assess the levels of some essential minerals in freeze-dried açaí pulp obtained in different Brazilian locations. It was found that açaí pulp is rich in essential minerals (Ca, Fe, Mg, Zn), but the levels of copper (Cu) and especially manganese (Mn) are surprisingly markedly higher than the traditional sources of these elements in the human diet. A daily consumption of 300 ml açaí pulp leads to a Mn daily intake exceeding at least sixfold (14.6 mg on average) the reference daily intake for an adult. Consequently, Mn intake may surpass the permitted daily maximum intake of 11 mg, which leads to a special concern, particularly for children, vegetarians, and individuals with anemia, since iron (Fe) absorption is impaired by Mn. Our findings demonstrate that this fruit is a potential source of several nutrients and a good dietary supplement to resolve malnutrition problems. However, due to the expressive levels of Mn, further studies are necessary to evaluate potential adverse effects associated with açaí consumption.

PMID:
24555649
DOI:
10.1080/15287394.2014.866923
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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