Orientadora:Profa. Dra. Angélica Marquetotti Salcedo Vieira

Data da Defesa: 30/09/2021

INTRODUCTION: The Brazilian territory represents an immense heritage of natural resources, with an emphasis on exotic fruit species, many of which remain unexplored, such as potential sources for the food industry. The fruits of Arecaceae palms are considered rich in bioactive compounds, especially carotenoids, tocopherols, vitamin C and vitamin A. They also contain phenolic compounds, fibers and minerals. However, the trade of native Brazilian species is not very representative and most palms are exclusively destined for the local and regional market or are grown specifically for ornamental and landscape purposes. Therefore, the discovery and knowledge of the bioactive compounds content and antioxidant capacity of native fruits aims to give commercial and industrial value to these fruits, whose potential is still unexplored, in addition to contributing to the conservation of the Brazilian biome.
AIMS: Due to its little-known potential, this study aimed to analyze the composition, physicochemical properties, micronutrients, antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity of the pulp of Aiphanes aculeata palm.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fruits were harvested directly from several palms between June and September at the State University of Maringá, UEM/PR, Brazil. After harvesting, fruits were sorted and cleaned, packed in plastic bags and stored in a freezer at -18 °C until analysis. To obtain the pulp, the mesocarp (pulp) and epicarp (peel) were ground in a blender until completely homogenized. The average weight of the fruit was 2.5 g, and the quantity required to perform all analyzes was 500 g on a wet basis. The following analyzes were performed to determine the proximate composition: Moisture, ash, protein, lipids, fiber and carbohydrates. The physicochemical parameters were determined by analyzing the pH, soluble solids, titratable acidity, and reducing and non-reducing sugars. In the analysis of micronutrients, the mineral elements calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), iron (Fe) and phosphorus (P) were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometric method. Vitamin C was determined by titration with potassium iodate. For the analysis of antioxidant activity and total phenols, the bioactive compounds were extracted using water, ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol and acetone as solvents. The aqueous extract was carried out at three temperatures: 25, 40 and 90 ºC. Antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH, FRAP and ABTS method and total phenolic content by Folin-Ciocalteu method. Cytotoxicity was evaluated by MTT method in non-tumor (L-929) and tumor cells (Caco-2).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: In terms of macronutrients analyzed, moisture content was 77.13 %, ash 0.51 %, lipids 0.44 %, proteins 1.03 %, crude fiber 2.52 % and carbohydrates 18.37 %, of which 11.14 % were reducing sugars and 8.06 % were non-reducing. The pH of the fruit was in the range of 5.01, which is considered as a medium acidity fruit as reported in the literature. A value of 0.38 g citric acid/100 g of the fruit was determined for titratable acidity. In the literature, citric acid values are reported between 0.08 and 1.95 %, which are good for consumption. Of the micronutrients analyzed, potassium had the highest value (993.04 mg/100 g). Potassium-rich fruits and vegetables are considered a non-pharmacological source for the prevention and control of hypertension. The other mineral elements analyzed follow in descending order: Ca (26.61 mg/100 g), Mg (18.3 mg/100 g), P (15.2 mg/100 g), Zn (0.30 mg/100 g), Fe (0.07 mg/100 g). Consumption of vitamin C is of great importance as it is not produced by the body itself and is essential for its proper functioning. Therefore, it is necessary to take it in with food, fruits and vegetables being the main sources. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for an adult is 45 mg. The pulp of Aiphanes aculeata contained 46.97 mg/100 g of vitamin C. With respect to the extractions performed, the acetonic and aqueous extracts at 90 °C showed greater antioxidant activity by the methods studied (DPPH, FRAP and ABTS), indicating a positive correlation with the content of total phenols (Folin-Ciocalteau). The extracts showed no cytotoxic activity in the non-tumor cell line (L-929) and there was a decrease in cell viability in the tumor line (Caco-2) above a concentration of 500 μg/mL.
CONCLUSION: The present study proved to be very important as the pulp of Aiphanes aculeata palm is poorly studied and has a rich and diverse nutrient composition. The extracts showed no cytotoxic activity in non-tumor cells (L-929) at the concentrations studied, which is a positive indicator for their use in food formulations with functional properties. Thus, the results obtained show the importance of research and knowledge of native species, as they are a source of bioactive compounds and have great nutritional and economic potential.
Keywords: Aiphanes aculeata, Brazilian fruits, Bioactive compounds, Antioxidant activity, Cytotoxicity.

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