Bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity
Camu camu is a rich source of bioactive compounds such as vitamin C, phenolic compounds and carotenoids. The bioactive compounds content confer to camu camu the antioxidant, antiinflammatory and healing properties. These have brought the use of this natural source in the development of functional products to improve the human well being.
The vitamin C content in the purple and green fruits is between 206. 01 mg/100g and 1910.31 mg/100g respectively. The ascorbic acid (AA) is the most efficient form of the vitamin C. This vitamin is a very potent antioxidant and is essential for the elaboration of the proteins involved in the synthesis of collagen, nodes, skin and the circulatory reproductive system. Additionally, it contributes to the preservation of the immune system and enables the absorption of nutrients (including the iron) iron. Due to the high content of vitamin C, camu camu has a special interest for the natural products industry which seeks a natural source of this vitamin.
In addition to its high content in vitamin C, camu camu is considered as a rich source of polyphenols.
Natural antioxidants are appreciable for their use in the development of functional foods and nutraceuticals. The importance of antioxidants is crucial for health due to its capacity to neutralize the free radicals as responsible for many degenerative diseases, cardiovascular, cataract, arthrosclerosis, cells death and cancer.
The antioxidant capacity of camu camu pulp and powders has evaluated. The ORAC values shown in the chart below indicate that camu camu products have the highest values compared to other fruits. The combination of vitamin C and the phenolic components confer this high antioxidant capacity to the camu camu. The 70% of ORAC value of the camu camu is contributed by the vitamin C.