Baru almonds from different regions of the Brazilian Savanna: Implications on physical and nutritional characteristics


While some reports show that physical characteristics of the baru fruits (Dipteryx alata Vog.) differ within and among the Brazilian Savanna regions, a study shows that there are differences in the nutritional composition of baru almonds from different trees from the same Savanna area. It is unknown, however, whether the Savanna’s region influences the nutritional quality of this native almond. Thus, we evaluated the influence of East, Southeast and West regions of the Brazilian Savanna on physical characteristics, nutrient composition and protein quality of the baru almond. Chemical composition and amino acid profile were analyzed, and Amino Acid Score (AAS), Net Protein Ratio (NPR), and Protein Digestibility–Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) were estimated. The physical characteristics significantly differed within but not among regions. The protein (310 g kg-1), lipid (410 g·kg-1), fiber (120 g·kg-1) and calcium (1,300 mg·kg-1) contents of baru almonds were high, with significant differences among regions for insoluble fiber content (94.3 - 128.3 g·kg-1) and amino acid profile (AAS = 77% - 89%). The relative NPR (RNPR) values were similar among regions (mean value of RNPR = 71%), and the PDCAAS values ranged from 65 to 73%. The region of the Brazilian Savanna influences the fiber and amino acid profiles, but not the total content of nutrients, the protein quality and the physical characteristics of the native baru almonds. The baru almond is a potential food as source of complementary protein for healthy diets and as a nutritious raw material for various food systems.

Share and Cite:

Czeder, L. , Fernandes, D. , Freitas, J. and Naves, M. (2012) Baru almonds from different regions of the Brazilian Savanna: Implications on physical and nutritional characteristics. Agricultural Sciences, 3, 745-754. doi: 10.4236/as.2012.35090.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Castro, A.M. (2009) Flavors of Cerrado. Ministério das Relacoes Exteriores (Brasil), Brasília, DF.
[2] Soares, T.N., Chaves, L.J., Telles, M.P.C. and Diniz-Filho, J. A.F. (2008) Landscape conservation genetics of Dipteryx alata (“baru” tree: Fabaceae) from Cerrado region of central Brazil. Genetica, 132, 9-19. doi:10.1007/s10709-007-9144-7
[3] Ribeiro, R.A. and Rodrigues, F.M. (2006) Genética da conservacao em espécies vegetais do cerrado/Conservation genetics in vegetal species of cerrado. Revista de Ciências Médicas e Biológicas, 5, 253-260.
[4] Corrêa, G.C., Naves, R.V., Rocha, M.R. and Zica, L.F. (2000) Caracterizacao física de frutos de baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.) em três populacoes nos cerrados do estado de Goiás/Physical caracterization of baru fruits (dipteryx alata vog.) in three populations in cerrados from Goiás state. Pesquisa Agropecuária Tropical, 30, 5-11. /view /303
[5] Freitas, J.B. and Naves, M.M.V. (2010) Composicao química de nozes e sementes comestíveis e sua relacao com a nutricao e saúde/Chemical composition of nuts and edible seeds and their relation to nutrition and health. Revista de Nutricao, 23, 269-279. doi:10.1590/ S1415-52732010000200010
[6] Fernandes, D.C., Freitas, J.B., Czeder, L.P. and Naves, M.M.V. (2010) Nutritional composition and protein value of the baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.) almond from the Brazilian Savana. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90, 1650-1655. doi:10.1002/jsfa.3997
[7] Togashi, M. and Sgarbieri, V.C. (1995) Avaliacao nutricional da proteína e do óleo de sementes de baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.)/Nutritional evaluation of protein and oil of baru seeds (Dipteryx alata Vog.). Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, 15, 66-69.
[8] Freitas, J.B., Fernandes, D.C., Czeder, L.P., Lima, J.C.R., Sousa, A.G.O. and Naves, M.M.V. (2012) Edible seeds and nuts grown in Brazil as sources of protein for human nutrition. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 3, 857-862. doi:10.4236/fns.2012.36114
[9] Friedman, M. (1996) Nutritional value of proteins from different food sources. A Review. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 44, 6-29. doi:10.1021/jf9400167
[10] Association of Official Analytical Chemists. (1990) Official methods of analysis, 15. ed. AOAC, Arlington.
[11] FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (1970) Amino-acid content of foods and biological data on proteins. FAO, Rome.
[12] Bligh, E.G. and Dyer, W.J. (1959) A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Canadian Journal of Biochemistry and Physiology, 37, 911-917.
[13] Prosky, L., Asp, N., Schweizer, T.F., Devries, J.W. and Furda, I. (1988) Determination of insoluble, soluble and total dietary fiber in foods and foods products: interlaboratory study. Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, 71, 1017-1023.
[14] Merril, A.L. and Watt, B.K. (1973) Energy value of foods: basis and derivation. United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
[15] Moore, S., Spackman, D.H. and Stein, W.H. (1958) Chromatography of amino acids on sulfonated polystyrene resins. Analytical Chemistry, 30, 1185-1190.
[16] Lucas, B. and Sotelo, A. (1980) Effect of different alkalies, temperature, and hydrolyses times on tryptophan determination of pure proteins and foods. Analytical Chemistry, 109, 192-197.
[17] WHO - World Health Organization. (2007) Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition. WHO, Geneva. WHO Technical Report Series no 935.
[18] National Research Council. (1996) Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals. NRC, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
[19] Reeves, P.G., Nielsen, F.H. and Fahey Jr., G.C. (1993) AIN-93 purified diets for laboratory rodents: final Report of the American Institute of Nutrition Ad Hoc Writing Committee on the Reformulation of the AIN-76A Rodent Diet. The Jounal of Nutrition, 123, 1939-1951. full.pdf+html
[20] Muggia-Sullam, M., Matarese, L.E., Edwards, L.L. and Fischer, J.E. (1986) Efficacy of two elemental diets: a pair feeding study. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 10, 45-48. doi:10.1177/014860718601000 145
[21] FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (1991) Protein quality evaluation. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation. FAO, Rome.
[22] Pellett, P.L. and Young, V.R. (1980) Nutritional evaluation of protein foods. The United Nations University, Tokyo.
[23] Togashi, M. and Sgarbieri, V.C. (1994) Caracterizacao química parcial do fruto do baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.)/Proximate chemical characterizaton of the “baru” (Dipteryx alata Vog.). Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, 14, 85-95.
[24] Venkatachalam, M. and Sathe, S.K. (2006) Chemical composition of selected edible nut seeds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54, 4705-4714. doi:10.1021/jf0606959
[25] Takemoto, E., Okada, I.A., Garbelotti, M.L., Tavares, M. and Aued-Pimentel, S. (2001) Composicao química da semente e do óleo de baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.) nativo do município de Pirenópolis, estado de Goiás/Chemical composition of seeds and oil of baru (Dipteryx alata Vog.) native from Pirenópolis, State of Goiás, Brazil. Revista do Instituto Adolfo Lutz, 60, 113-117. baru[1].pdf
[26] IOM - Institute of Medicine. (2005) Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. IOM, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
[27] Roberfroid, M., Gibson, G.R., Hoyles, L., McCartney, A.L., Rastall, R., Rowland, I., Wolvers, D., Watzl, B., Szajewska, H., Stahl, B., Guarner, F., Respondek, F., Whelan K., Coxam, V., Davicco, M.-J., Léotoing, L., Wittrant, Y., Delzenne, N.M., Cani, P.D., Neyrinck, A.M. and Meheust, A. (2010) Prebiotic effects: metabolic and health benefits. British Journal of Nutrition, 104, S1-S63. doi:0.1017/S0007114510003363
[28] IOM - Institute of Medicine. (2006) Dietary reference intakes research synthesis: workshop summary. IOM, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
[29] Segura, R., Javierre, C., Lizarraga, M.A. and Rose, E. (2006) Other relevant components of nuts: phytosterols, folate and minerals. British Journal of Nutrition, 96, S36-S44. doi:10.1017/BJN20061862
[30] Cruz, K.S., Silva, M.A., Freitas, O. and Neves, V.A. (2011) Partial characterization of proteins from baru (Dipteryx alata Vog) seeds. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 91, 2006-2012. doi:10.1002/jsfa.4410

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.