Camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) H.B.K.) Mc Vaugh) is a shrub native to the Amazon region and its fruits are promising sources of various bioactive compounds such as vitamin C, phenolic compounds and carotenoids. Camu-camu fruit is considered the greatest natural source of vitamin C worldwide and also good source of dietary fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, and various kinds of amino acids such as serine, valine and leucine. Therefore, the presence of different bioactive compounds in camu-camu fruits could be used to retard or prevent various chronic non-communicable diseases such as dyslipidemia, obesity, cardiovascular and cancer. The objective of this study was to analyze pulp green and ripe camu-camu to see differences in its attributes vs. maturation stage. Ripe camu-camu pulp had a great antioxidant capacity, 2671 μmol TE/g and unripe 2563 μmol TE/g fresh weight. It is also very rich in vitamin C (1230 mg/100 g in unripe, and 1150 mg/100 g in ripened fruits), calcium (13.2 mg/100 g to ripe and 12.1 mg/100 g to unripe fresh weight), dietary fiber (2.50 g/100 g to unripe and 2.40 mg/100 g to ripe). Camu-camu is also an excellent source of other bioactive compounds, such as minerals and different phenolic compounds. In conclusion, camu-camu fruit can be used to introduce bioactive compounds into food products and to delay or prevent many human diseases.
Key words: Camu-camu, Vitamin C, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, antioxidant capacity.
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