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FINGOLO, Catharina E. et al. The natural impact of banana inflorescences (Musa acuminata) on human nutrition. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2012, vol.84, n.4, pp.891-898.  Epub Oct 16, 2012. ISSN 0001-3765.

Banana inflorescences are popularly known as 'navels,' and they are used in Brazil as nutritional complements. However, the nutritional value of banana inflorescences (male flowers and bracts) has never been studied. Therefore, plant material of Musa acuminata, cultivar "ouro", was collected in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, and then submitted to chemical procedures to determine its nutritional composition. The experiment was arranged a completely randomized design and performed in triplicate. The sample composition analysis showed percentual average value for moisture, protein, fat and ash as 8.21, 14.50, 4.04 and 14.43, respectively. The dehydrated inflorescences were found to contain a significant nutritive complement based on their high content of potassium (5008.26 mg / 100 g) and fiber 49.83% (lignin, cellulose and hemicelluloses) revealing important functional and nutritional properties. In a parallel evaluation, the anatomical study revealed key elements for the recognition of Musa acuminata when reduced to fragments.

Keywords : anatomical analysis; banana inflorescences; "banana-ouro"; Musa acuminata; Musaceae; nutritional value.

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