PhD student in Food Technology Fats and Oils Laboratory - UNICAMP Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Rainforest oils and fats represent new lipid sources with specific composition and physical properties. Bacuri is an exotic fruit typical of the Amazon region composed of pulp and seed used in food and cosmetics industries. Cupuacu has been used due to its similar physical chemical characteristics as cocoa butter. The objective of this work was to analyze the crystallization profile of fats extracted from bacuri and cupuacu seeds through official methodologies for fatty acid composition, triacylglycerol composition, crystallization isotherm, solid fat content, thermal behavior (DSC), polymorphism and microstructure analysis. Bacuri fat presented mainly 60.34% palmitic acid and 28.19% oleic acid; while cupuacu showed 38.90% oleic acid and 34.15% stearic acid. Bacuri fat is composed of C50 to C58 carbon chain triacylglycerols; while the cupuacu by C48 to C54. The thermal behavior of bacuri fat indicated crystallization range between 25.73oC and 13.19oC, represented by two distinct peaks; and melting from -7.9°C to 18.9°C, also composed of two distinct peaks due to the triacylglycerol heterogeneity. Cupuacu presented a single crystallization peak starting at 23.14oC and ending at -22.61oC and a single melting peak between -11.17oC and 33.33oC, explained by the greater uniformity of the triacylglycerol carbon chain. In the polymorphism analysis, bacuri fat, evaluated by stabilization for 24 hours at 25oC, presented the polymorphic forms β ’and β, while cupuacu fat, under the same conditions, presented polymorphic form β similar to cocoa butter. The results indicated that both bacuri and cupuacu fats present crystallization profiles with potential for application in food and cosmetics.