Results and Discussion
The characteristics of camu-camu in two maturity stages are shown in Table 1. It was observed that the average fruit weight ranged
from 6.3 to 8.8g, same as reported by Villachica (1996b), and no significant difference in weight or size among fruits harvested in two
maturity stages. The globe shape of camu-camu is characterized by the diameter/length ratio of approximately 1.0 in both stages.
Seed represented around 19% of fresh weight, without difference between stages. The yield of rind + pulp, above 80%, was slightly
higher than the range of 69 to 79% reported by Villachica (1996b), but lower than that found by Andrade et al. (1991) that obtained
84.50% of pulp yield. Total soluble solids contents (TSS) were equivalent for fruits harvested in both maturity stages, although titrable
acidity was slightly higher in predominantly green stage, resulting in a palatability index (SST/ATT) extremely low if compared with the
majority of fruits consumed fresh. It was observed that in camu-camu organic acids are the main components of soluble solids,
representing 44% and 41% of TSS contents in predominantly green and predominantly red stages, respectively. Contrasting this
observation, soluble sugars represented only about 20% of TSS. Silva and Andrade (1996) analysed camu-camu harvested in the
vicinity of Manaus , Amazonas State, found 8.18ºBrix in mature fruits, however with TTA of 2.75%, and in fruits from other regions,
Zapata and Dufour (1993) found TSS and TTA of 6.8ºBrix and 3.08 to 3.55%. pH did not differ between stages and was compatible with
acidity.
Table 1. Characterization of camu-camu (Myrciaria Dubia H.B.K. Mc Vaugh).
Characteristics* Maturity stage
Predominantly green Predominantly purple
Total Fresh Weight (g) 6.58A 7.05A
Skin + Pulp (%) 81.06A 81.24A
Seed (%) 18.94A 18.75A
Length (mm) 21.44A 22.11A
Diameter (mm) 22.31A 23.06A
TSS (°Brix) 6.40A 6.36A
TTA (%) 2.86A 2.63B
TSS/TTA 2.24A 2.42A
PH 2.51A 2.54A
Total Sugars (%) 1.28B 1.48A
Starch (%) 0.44A 0.34A
Total Pectin (%) 0.21A 0.11B
Soluble Pectin (%) 0.051A 0.055A
Pectic Fractions in SIA (%)
A.M.= 6.31B
B.M. = 3.13A
Prot. = 1.24C
A.M.= 7.30A
B.M. = 2.63B
Prot. = 2.79A
PME (UAE) 254.78B 304.73A
PG (UAE) 22.45A 20.94A
Vitamin C (mg/100g) 1910.31B 2061.04A
Water Soluble Phenols (%) 2.42A 1.56B
Methanol P.A. Soluble Phenols (%) 2.70A 1.25B
Methanol 50% Soluble Phenols (%) 2.36A 1.77B
* SIA = insoluble solids in alcohol; A.M. = high metoxilation; B.M. = low metoxilation; Prot. = Protopectin; UAE = Enzimatic Activity Unit.
Starch content in mature fruits is low and possibly does not represent difficulty for juice processing or pulp extraction. Pectin contents
are also low and do not justify the necessity of using processing aids to improve juice yield. Nevertheless, as soluble pectins represent
half of total pectin content and the high metoxyl fraction is predominant in alcohol insoluble solids, in case turbidity stabilization is
required in the intended product it must be considered the fact that the native activity of PME is significantly higher than that of PG and
an inactivation may be necessary. On the other hand, due to the extremely sour flavor and the low sugars content, it is expected that
camu-camu can be more valued by its main quality attribute, that is its high vitamin C content, than in a type of product other than single
flavor juice, nectar or ice cream. Vitamin C content found in this experiment reached a maximum of 2061.04mg/100g in predominantly
red fruits. Opposite to other fruits rich in this vitamin, such as acerola, the vitamin C in camu-camu was higher in ripe fruits. Many
scientists reported vitamin C contents in camu-camu varying from 845 to 2994mg/100g (Andrade et al., 1991; Zapata and Dufour 1993;
Silva and Andrade, 1996; Souza et al., 1996; Villachica, 1996b). Analysis of the peel indicated about 5% of ascorbic acid content, much
higher than that found in the pulp (Villachica, 1996a). Villachica (1996b) stated that if fruit was used for ascorbic acid production, it could
be harvest in the green stage, after finishing its development, or still half-ripe, when vitamin C content reaches its maximum. The
amount of phenolic compounds in camu-camu is another factor that can limit its acceptability for fresh consumption, once they are
associated to astringency. Although phenolic contents decrease with ripening, they can still be considered extremely high at the end of
ripening.
13
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Acknowledgements EU (INCO-DC Contract ERBIC18CT970182). To FUNCAP (Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e
Tecnológico) for third author ET (Extensão Tecnológica) scholarship and to CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico)
and CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento Pessoal de Nível Superior) for financial support to participate in 49th ISTH Meeting.

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