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Emerging berries from the Brazilian Amazon and Atlantic Forest biomes: new sources of bioactive compounds with potential health benefits.

Food & Function 2024 June 5
Brazil has a broad geographic biodiversity spread across its six different biomes. However, it has been suffering from the abusive exploitation of its resources, which poses a threat to the local fauna and flora. The Amazon and Atlantic Forest, for example, are birthplaces to rare and edible native species, such as bacaba ( Oenocarpus bacaba , Arecaceae) and camu-camu ( Myrciaria dubia , Myrtaceae), and cereja-do-Rio Grande ( Eugenia involucrata , Myrtaceae) and grumixama ( Eugenia brasiliensis , Myrtaceae), respectively. These plants produce fruits which are sources of macro and micronutrients, including sugars, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and/or lipids. Nutritionally, their consumption have the ability to reach partially or totally the daily recommendations for adults of some nutrients. More recently, these fruits have also been exposed as interesting sources of minor bioactive compounds, such as carotenoids, terpenes, and/or polyphenols, the latter which include anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and tannins. Particularly, bacaba stands out for being a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (around 22%, dry weight) and dietary fibers (6.5-21%, dry weight); camu-camu has very high contents of vitamin C (up to 5000 mg per 100 g of pulp, dry basis); and cereja-do-Rio-Grande and grumixama are abundant sources of anthocyanins. Although they are still underexplored, several in vitro and in vivo studies with different parts of the fruits, including the peel, seed, and pulp, indicate their health potential through anti-oxidative, anti-obesity, antihyperglycemic, antidyslipidemic, antimicrobial, and/or anticancer effects. All things considered, the focus of this research was to highlight the bioactive potential and health impact of native fruits from the Amazon and Atlantic Forest biomes.

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