Bioactive compounds and benefits of by-products of Amazon babassu oil production: potential for dietary supplement, biomedical and food applications

Food Funct. 2024 Jun 17;15(12):6232-6253. doi: 10.1039/d4fo01594k.


Babassu coconut (Attalea speciosa syn. Orbignya phalerata) contains an oil-rich nut and is primarily found in South America's Amazon region. Future market researchers predict an increase in the babassu oil market from USD 227.7 million in 2022 to USD 347.0 million by 2032, and the yield of babassu oil from babassu-processed waste could reach 90%. Of these, mesocarp flour is an underrated by-product used only for animal feed purposes by local producers. This comprehensive review focuses on advances in knowledge and understanding of phytochemicals from babassu oil by-products considering the mechanisms of action - covering antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, immunomodulatory, and anticancer effects. Babassu coconut fruit contains free fatty acids, (poly)phenols, phytosterols, and triterpenes. Pytochemicals, antiparasitic and antibacterial activities of babassu mesocarp flour were shown, but fungi and viruses can get more attention. Beyond its antioxidant capacity, babassu mesocarp flour showed potential as a dietary food supplement. Aqueous suspensions of mesocarp flour with a higher preference for cancer cells than normal cells and an antithrombotic effect were also identified, probably related to the antioxidant capacity of its secondary metabolites. Mesocarp flour, a starch-rich fraction, is promising for application as biodegradable packaging to improve the oxidative stability of foods. Finally, low-added value fractions can be considered bio-waste/co-products, and their phytochemicals may attract interest for applications in medicine and nutrition. Toxicological concerns, trends, and gaps are discussed for the future of foods and related sciences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Phytochemicals / chemistry
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Waste Products / analysis


  • Plant Oils
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytochemicals
  • Waste Products