Pequi is a Brazilian cerrado fruit with nutritive and sensory characteristics and good taste and is used in numerous typical dishes. The purpose of this study was to analyze the physical and chemical characteristics, total phenols and the antioxidant activity and the scanning electron microscope (SEM) of pequi pulp, mesocarp and peel. Physical and chemical analyses such as antioxidants and phenolic compounds compositions were performed. Physical analyses showed high variation in length, equatorial diameter, weight and volume characteristics. Green peel, dark gray mesocarp and bright yellow pulp were observed. Significant differences were observed in the physical and chemical analyses of the fruit, with the pulp showing the most relevant characteristics such as high presence of lipids and proteins. The SEM of the peel and mesocarp showed a multiform, irregular and fibrous structure while the pulp showed irregular aspect, with the presence of granules and fibers. The highest antioxidant activity (EC50=280.1) was seen in pulp and the lowest (EC50=4.89) in peel. However, the highest concentration (204.37 mg EAG/g) of phenols is in the peel and the lowest (26.55 mg EAG/g) in the pulp. This study concluded that the fruit pulp presents potential for body maintenance and human consumption.
Key words: Ether extract, color, pulp, reuse.
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