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Edible fruits from Brazilian biodiversity: A review on their sensorial characteristics versus bioactivity as tool to select research

Teixeira, Nayane, Melo, Jean C.S., Batista, Luiz F., Paula-Souza, Juliana, Fronza, Pãmella, Brandão, Maria G.L.
Food research international 2019 v.119 pp. 325-348
Acrocomia aculeata, Anacardium occidentale, Caryocaraceae, Orchidaceae, Passiflora edulis, Verbenaceae, bioactive properties, biodiversity, biodiversity conservation, economic plants, edible fruits, flora, income, markets, Brazil
The Brazilian flora is very rich in edible fruits but only a fraction of this potential is known and properly used. In this study, we discuss the importance of Brazilian edible fruits using data recovered from the book “Dicionário das plantas úteis do Brasil e das exóticas cultivadas” (Dictionary of Useful Plants of Brazil and Exotic Cultivated), organized by the Portuguese botanist Manoel Pio Corrêa (1874-1934), in 1926. Data from 504 species were recorded from the book and several have attractive and/or sensorial characteristics, as tasty and sweet, that can contribute to stimulating their direct consumption. Only 25% of the recorded fruits have their health benefits determined in studies of bioactivity. A ranking (Priority Index = PI) was constructed in order to know the most promising fruits. Anacardium occidentale, Passiflora edulis and Acrocomia aculeata reached a higher PI. Among the families, Orchidaceae, Verbenaceae, Anacardiaceae and Caryocaraceae have a higher proportion of fruits with higher PI. Besides the health benefits, the market and management of these plants can contribute to biodiversity conservation and improve the income of local populations.