Physicochemical Parameters, Phytochemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of the Algarvian Avocado (Persea americana Mill.)

  •  Ana Vinha    
  •  Joana Moreira    
  •  Sérgio Barreira    


The physical, chemical and nutritional properties of Persea americana fruits variety ‘Hass’ produced in the Algarve region were studied. Edible and non-edible parts of the fruits (pulp, seeds and peel) were compared considering their possible contribution to improve the sustainability of the food and pharmaceutical industries. The nutritional contents evaluated were moisture, ash, proteins, fat, total soluble solids and acidity. It were also evaluated the contents of bioactive compounds (phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, ascorbic acid and vitamin E) and their influence in the antioxidant activity exhibited by the fruit material. The results of the analysis demonstrated that the Algarvian avocado has physical and chemical characteristics comparable or superior to avocados from other growing regions around the world namely, Mexico and California. With regard to the contents of bioactive compounds, the pulp of the Algarvian avocado proved to be rich in carotenoids (0.815±0.201 mg/100g), phenolic compounds (410.2±69.0 mg/100g) and flavonoids (21.9±1.0 mg/100g). The skin was superior to the pulp in the contents of all these compounds with 2.585±0.117 mg/100g of carotenoids, 679.0±117.0 mg/100g of total phenolics and 44.3±3.1 mg/100g of flavonoids. The seed, in turn, was the part of the fruit with the highest total phenolic content (704.0±130.0 mg/100g) and flavonoids (47.97±2.69 mg/100g). Regarding the concentration of vitamins C and E, the highest values were found in the pulp (5.36±1.77 mg/100g of vitamin E) and skin (4.1±2.7 mg/100g of vitamin C). The extracts obtained from the seeds demonstrated higher in vitro DPPH· assay antioxidant activity (43%) than those obtained from the skin (35%) and the fruit pulp (23%). The contents of carotenoids, phenolic compounds and flavonoids found in the non-edible parts of the Algarvian avocado demonstrated that these byproducts could be an interesting inexpensive raw material for the food and cosmetic industries.

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