BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS DURING THE MATURATION OF FOUR FRUITS NATIVE TO THE RESTINGA FOREST OF CEARA

<div><p>ABSTRACT Fruits provide not only essential nutrients for food, but also bioactive compounds that promote health benefits and help reducing the risk of developing non-communicable chronic diseases. In this sense, this work aimed at quantifying bioactive compounds during the maturation of four fruits native to the Restinga forest of Ceara. Myrtle fruits (Eugenia punicifolia (Kunth) DC.) were collected at the Botanical State Park of Ceara, Caucaia-CE, and guajiru (Chrisobalanus icaco L.), manipuça (Mouriri cearensis Huber) and murici-pitanga fruits (Byrsonima gardneriana A. Juss.) at the Botanical Garden of São Gonçalo, São Gonçalo do Amarante-CE. Fruits were collected at different stages (E) and transported to the Laboratory of Plant Ecophysiology, being characterized into five or six maturation stages according to the bark color, then processed and frozen for the following physicochemical and chemical evaluations: ascorbic acid, total chlorophyll, total carotenoids, total anthocyanins and yellow flavonoids. A completely randomized design was used, with five or six treatments, depending on the maturation stages of fruits and four replicates. Murici-pitanga had higher contents of ascorbic acid (ascorbic acid 646.23 mg/100 g E5), total carotenoids (6.13 mg/100 g E5) and total anthocyanins (7.99 mg/100 g E2); and myrtle had higher contents of total chlorophyll (11.05 mg/100 g E1) and yellow flavonoid (69.11 mg/100 g E2). There are positive and significant correlations between chlorophyll and carotenoid (R= 0.99; P <0.01) for manipuça and between anthocyanin and yellow flavonoid (R= 0.97; P <0.05) for murici-pitanga fruits; however, the correlation is negative and significant between ascorbic acid and yellow flavonoids (R= -0.98; P <0.05) for myrtle fruits. It could be concluded that murici-pitanga and myrtle fruits had the highest contents of bioactive compounds with the highest levels, therefore both fruits can be recommended to be commercially exploited by the food, cosmetic and phytomedicine sectors.</p></div>