Brazil to lead tropical fruit research network
A Brazilian research agency will lead a team of more than 100 scientists investigating practical uses and commercial potential for tropical fruit, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The network, called Frutactiva, will unite researchers from Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Ecuador, Portugal, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica and Venezuela. They will share information about the uses of compounds from tropical fruit. The work aims to add value to the crops and take advantage of their marketing potential, according to the news agency.
According to Ricardo Elesbao, a researcher with the Brazil Company for Agricultural research, there is a worldwide consensus that in addition to offering nutrients, the tropical fruits have ingredients that can aid in the prevention of degenerative diseases; in the restriction of chain reactions; and in the fight against wounds caused by free radicals, Xinhua reported.
Such ingredients as antioxidants, vitamins, chlorophyll and phenols could be present in the fruits or be acquired during processing.
The research will focus on nontraditional fruit produced in Latin America, such as camu-camu, a small fruit from the Amazon and marañón, the fruit that produces cashews, according to the news agency.