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Chemical composition and nutritive value of peach palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth) in rats

Leterme, P., Garcia, M.F., Londono, A.M., Rojas, M.G., Buldgen, A., Souffrant, W.B.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2005 v.85 no.9 pp. 1505-1512
digestible protein, animal growth, Bactris gasipaes, proximate composition, fruit composition, rats, digestibility
The peach palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth) is the starchy fruit of a palm tree widely cultivated in Central and South America. The present study aimed at determining its chemical composition and its nutritive value in rats. The average chemical composition of 17 samples was as follows: 410 g kg(-1) water and, in g kg(-1) of dry matter (DM), 54 g crude protein, 114 g oil, 39 g neutral detergent fibre, 716 g starch, 21 g sugars and 18 g ash. The main variability was observed for the oil (60-180 g kg(-1) DM) and starch (590-780 g DM) contents. The proteins contained, on average, in g kg(-1) of proteins, 49 g lysine, 13 g methionine, 19 g cysteine, 39 g threonine and 7 g tryptophan. The mineral fraction contained, per kg DM: 1.0 g Ca, 0.8 g P, 0.6 g Mg, 0.3 g Na, 44 mg Fe, 4 mg Cu and 10 mg Zn. The digestibility of four peach palm genotypes was determined in rats fed a diet composed of 350 g kg(-1) of peach palm and 650 g of a control diet based on maize and soybean meal. The digestibility of DM, energy, starch and protein of peach palm alone reached, on average 91, 87, 96 and 95%, respectively. No difference was observed between varieties, except for starch (p < 0.05). On average, peach palm contained 51 g of truly digestible protein kg(-1) DM and 3.691 kcal digestible energy kg(-1) DM. A growth trial was also carried out for 1 month on rats (initial weight: 78 g) fed a diet containing 0, 200, 400, 600 or 800 g peach palm kg(-1), at the expense of a diet composed of maize starch and casein. The growth rate of the rats decreased (p < 0.05) as the peach palm concentration increased. The growth decrease was due to a decrease (p < 0.05) in DM intake and to the lower quality of the peach palm protein. It is concluded that peach palm is mainly an energy source for humans and animals. It is poor in protein and minerals but can be consumed in large amounts.