The oil of the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) was studied for its composition in fatty acids, tocopherols, sterols and phospholipids. The fatty acids composition of phospholipids was also studied. These results were compared to those of sunflower, walnut, almond, soya and olive oils. Its high content of unsaturated fatty acids, of β-tocopherol and of β-sitosterol gave to the Brazil nut interesting antioxidant and anti-cholesterol properties. The composition of fatty acids in phospholipid is very different from the composition of the oil. Linolenic acid, which is not present in the oil, is present at a high level in phosphatidylethanolamine.
Brazil nut oil; fatty acids; phospholipids; sterols; tocopherols