Brazilian Savanna Fruits Contain Higher Bioactive Compounds Content and Higher Antioxidant Activity Relative to the Conventional Red Delicious Apple
The bioactive compounds content and the antioxidant activity (AA) of twelve fruits native to the Cerrado were compared with the Red Delicious apple by means of the antiradical efficiency (using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazil assay/DPPH), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and the β-carotene/linoleic system. The antiradical efficiency (AE) and the kinetic parameters (Efficient concentration/EC50 and time needed to reach the steady state to EC50concentration/TEC50) of the DPPH curve were also evaluated for comparison with the Trolox equivalent (TE) values. A strong, significant and positive correlation was observed between the TE and AE values, whereas a weak and negative correlation was observed between TE and EC50, suggesting that the values of AE and TE are more useful for the determination of antiradical activity in fruits than the widely used EC50. The total phenolic content found in the fruits corresponded positively to their antioxidant activity. The high content of bioactive compounds (flavanols, anthocyanins or vitamin C) relative to the apple values found in araticum, cagaita, cajuzinho, jurubeba, lobeira, magaba and tucum corresponded to the high antioxidant activity of these fruits. Flavanols and anthocyanins may be the main bioactive components in these Cerrado fruits. The daily consumption of at least seven of the twelve Cerrado fruits studied, particularly, araticum, cagaita, lobeira and tucum, may confer protection against oxidative stress, and thus, they may prevent chronic diseases and premature aging. The findings of this study should stimulate demand, consumption and cultivation of Cerrado fruits and result in sustainable development of the region where this biome dominates.