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Nutritional and ecological aspects of buriti or aguaje ( Mauritia flexuosa Linnaeus filius): A carotene-rich palm fruit from Latin America

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Abstract:

Mauritia flexuosa , a palm tree native of Latin America, is an excellent source of carotenes. The natural habitats are swamps; nevertheless, with sufficient water supply, it can grow in other soils. Buriti is the richest natural source of beta carotene known (152,000 µg RAE/100g in the oil). Animal studies showed an extremely high bioavailability, probably due to its oily composition. The effectiveness of buriti in treating and preventing xerophthalmia was demonstrated in a controlled community trial with 44 children in Brazil. In conclusion, this fruit has an enormous potential in preventing vitamin A deficiency in Latin America and elsewhere.

Keywords: Latin America; Mauritia; aguaje; buriti; nutritional aspects

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03670240500253369

Affiliations: Universidade de Brasília, Departamento de Nutrição, Brasília, Brasil

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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