Chemical composition and antioxidant capacity of açaí (Euterpe oleracea) genotypes and commercial pulps

J Sci Food Agric. 2017 Mar;97(5):1467-1474. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7886. Epub 2016 Aug 5.


Background: Açaí has been reported to contain many bioactive compounds, including phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins. This study aimed to determine the chemical composition and antioxidant potential of pulps of three different açaí genotypes from the Active Germplasm Bank of Embrapa Eastern Amazon and three commercial açaí pulps from Belém, state of Pará, Brazil.

Results: Anthocyanin 3-rutinoside was the major anthocyanin present in freeze-dried açaí pulp samples. The commercial sample C showed the greatest amounts of cyanidin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-rutinoside (18 942 and 34 397 µg g-1 respectively). The content of phenolic compounds varied significantly among the commercial and genotype samples, and vanillic acid was found in the highest concentration in the samples studied. All açaí samples showed high DPPH, ORAC and TEAC values, confirming the exceptionally high radical-scavenging capacity of açaí pulp previously reported by other researchers.

Conclusion: The commercial samples showed higher antioxidant capacity and higher levels of anthocyanins and non-anthocyanic compounds than those of the genotype samples. Among the genotypes studied, L4P16 stood out for its higher contents of fibre and bioactive compounds and higher antioxidant capacity, indicating that this genotype has great potential for use in plant breeding programs that should be further explored. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: anthocyanins; antioxidant activity; bioactive compounds; phenolic compounds.

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / analysis
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Brazil
  • Euterpe / chemistry*
  • Euterpe / genetics
  • Food Handling*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Phenols / analysis


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols