Red delicious or wolf apple? Brazilian savanna fruits high in antioxidants

August 21, 2013

Native Brazilian fruits grown in arid climates and poor soil have similar antioxidant activity to conventionally grown Red Delicious apples, according to research published August 21 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Sandra Fernandes Arruda from the University of Brazil and colleagues from other institutions.

Twelve fruit species grown on the Cerrado, a savanna with , were compared to conventional Red Delicious apples purchased at local markets; the researchers found that several of these native species had higher proportions of bioactive compounds and pigments than the apples. The proportion of these compounds correlated with antioxidant properties of the fruit extracts when experimentally tested. Based on these results, the authors conclude that native fruits grown in sub-optimal conditions can confer similar nutritional benefits to apples, which are considered among the most antioxidant-rich foods.

The fruits studied here include indigenous species such as lobeira, also called 'wolf apple', tucum, a variety of palm, and other fruits which grow in the and poor soil of the Cerrado. Though commonly consumed fruits like apples or strawberries have been extensively studied for their chemical constituents, the nutritional benefits of fruits grown in such conditions are not well-known. The authors conclude, "Such fruits can provide a source of new with functional properties beneficial to health, which should stimulate the pharmaceutical and food industries for the development of new products, promoting the sustainable development of regions with the characteristics of the Cerrado."

Explore further: Consumption of fruits may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease

More information: Siqueira EMdA, Rosa FR, Fustinoni AM, de Sant'Ana LP, Arruda SF (2013) Brazilian Savanna Fruits Contain Higher Bioactive Compounds Content and Higher Antioxidant Activity Relative to the Conventional Red Delicious Apple. PLoS ONE 8(8): e72826. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072826

Related Stories

Can an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

March 26, 2013

Studies of the bioactive compounds found in apples aim to uncover compounds that have an ability to prevent or alter the risk of serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.

New fruit products incorporate old and new

August 20, 2013

As the most consumed snack food in the United States, it is no surprise that fresh fruit is also the fastest growing. In the August issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), ...

Recommended for you

Scientists develop new techniques to track how cells develop

August 24, 2016

Understanding how various cell types differentiate themselves during development is one of the fundamental questions in developmental biology. Using genome-editing tools, Harvard scientists are getting closer to finding answers.

A new path for killing pathogenic bacteria

August 24, 2016

Bacteria that cause tuberculosis, leprosy and other diseases, survive by switching between two different types of metabolism. EPFL scientists have now discovered that this switch is controlled by a mechanism that constantly ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.