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Acta Amazonica

Print version ISSN 0044-5967On-line version ISSN 1809-4392

Abstract

LIMA, Antonio Luís dos Santos et al. Evaluation of gamma irradiation rffects on carotenoids, ascorbic acid and sugar contents of buriti fruit (Mauritia flexuosa L.). Acta Amaz. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.3, pp.649-654. ISSN 0044-5967.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0044-59672009000300020.

Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa L.), a typical fruit from the Northeast and Center-West Amazon of Brazil, is used in many regional dishes. It is considered an excellent source of carotenoids that are A vitamin precursors, showing a majority of β-carotene. It also presents ascorbic acid and sugar contents. Many studies have indicated that the lack of A vitamin is the main cause of night blindness and xerophthalmia. Also, ascorbic acid deficiency may cause scorbutic disease. The use of food irradiation is growing and represents an economic benefit to agriculture through the reduction of post-harvesting losses while maintaining food nutritional quality. In this study, Buriti in natura was treated with gamma irradiation with doses of 0.5 kGy and 1.0 kGy. The objective was to evaluate the irradiation effects on total carotenoids, ascorbic acid and sugars concentrations of Buriti. The fruit was evaluated through the total carotenoids analysis, by spectrophotometry, and the carotenoids (α and β-carotene and lutein), ascorbic acid and sugars were determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that buriti is an excellent source of total carotenoids (44600 μg/100g). The irradiation of buriti with the dose of 0.5 kGy did not significantly change carotenoids and sugars contents. However, there was a reduction of ascorbic acid concentration with an increase of the dose, which may have been caused by irradiation or by intrinsic and extrinsic factors that alter ascorbic acid stability in food, converting ascorbic to dehydroascorbic acid, while keeping the C vitamin active form.

Keywords : Buriti; Gamma Irradiation; Carotenoids; HPLC; Ascorbic Acid; Sugars.

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