Mauritia flexuosa L. (Arecaceae) is a popular Brazilian fruit known as "buriti" and belonging to the category of functional foods. This work reviewed the phytochemistry profile, nutritional and pharmacological activities of M. flexuosa. The main bioactive compounds reported to buriti were carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds, fiber, phytosterols, and mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. These compounds were mainly related to antioxidant, hypolipemiant, photoprotector, antiaggregant, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemiant, antimicrobial, and antitumor activities. Furthermore, some compounds present in buriti fruit and its properties were tested in vitro and in vivo and showed biotechnology applications, especially for extraction of fiber, polysaccharides, pigments, antioxidants, and oil. Howerer, the buriti fruit shows great relevance to the development of new products in food, pharmaceutical and chemical industry, this fruit is still underexploited and it has need to expand its production chain and processing to encourage their consumption and utilization.
Keywords: Brazilian Cerrado; bioactive compounds; buriti; functional potential.
© 2016 Institute of Food Technologists®.