Development of a microencapsulated Amazonic natural ingredient with potential interest as a functional product
This study focused on fruit pulp microencapsulation by spray drying with the aim to develop the basic ingredient for an instant beverage with phytochemicals from asaí (Euterpe precatoria) and flavor compounds from copoazú (Theobroma grandiflorum), both outstanding Amazonic fruits. Asaí has a high content of polyphenols but a very mild flavor, while copoazú has favorable sensory characteristics, making it an interesting food matrix to innovate and incorporate phytochemicals for producing functional drinks. Accordingly, asaí and copoazú were mixed and microencapsulated with the aim to preserve bioactive compounds from the oxidation process and obtain a stable natural ingredient. The main target compounds to protect were asaí anthocyanins. Prior to mixing, copoazú pulp was treated with pectolytic and amylolitic enzyme applications to enhance pulp extraction from the seed-pulp mass, and with filtration in order to separate fruit remaining starch and insoluble fiber fraction; this process increased the sugar and organic acid contents, as compared to the untreated pulp, improving flavor. The asaí pulp was filtered; this process reduced the insoluble fiber and fat, with no significant influence on the polyphenols. Microencapsulation by spray drying was performed with 35% maltodextrin as the wall material. The asaí:copazú ratio (1:1) was fixed to enhance the asaí flavor without masking it, following a previous sensory analysis performed on pulps mixtures. The obtained powder was assessed for antioxidant properties (DPPH* and ABTS* inhibition) and total polyphenols, total anthocyanins, and sugar and organic acid contents. The nutritional analysis of the obtained ingredient showed a high potential for a functional food product.
Díaz S., R.O., Carrillo, M., Hernández, M.S., Gutiérrez, R.H., Lares, M. and Fernández-Trujillo, J.P. (2017). Development of a microencapsulated Amazonic natural ingredient with potential interest as a functional product. Acta Hortic. 1178, 123-128
Euterpe precatoria, Theobroma grandiflorum, spray drying