Published Jul 22, 2019


Google Scholar
Search GoogleScholar

Gabriela Batista de Farias

Jean Lucas da Silva Rodrigues

Maria Nilce de Sousa Ribeiro

Lyege Oliveira Magalhães

Antonio Gilberto Ferreira

Maria da Paz Lima



The Babassu nut (Orbignya phalerata Mart.) mesocarp is traditionally transformed to flour and consumed in some Brazilian areas for its attributed medicinal activity; however, its chemical properties remain to be elucidated. The present work aimed at analyzing the babassu mesocarp phytochemical constituents. Babassu nut samples were collected in the Brazilian Amazon, and their mesocarps were prepared and macerated in different solvents. The chromatographic fractionation of selected methanol extracts yielded three fractions, A-5, A-6, and B-1 that were characterized with high resolution methods. Fraction A-5 was characterized through GC/MS as a fatty acid mixture with predominance of eicosanoic (38.67 %) and 11-octadecanoic (21.71  %) acids. Fraction A-6 was characterized by the presence of three phytosteroids (32.02 %), sesquiterpene (nerolidol; 24.89 %), and diterpene (17-acetoxy-19-kauranal; 15.17 %). The 1H and 13C NMR spectra on fraction A-6 showed characteristic chemical shifts for its compounds. Compound B-1 was identified as ergostanol-3-benzoate based on NMR experiments in one and two dimensions. These results constitute the first identification of babassu mesocarp chemical constituents in 1 and 2-dimensions, paving the way to understanding its role in popular medicine.


Arecaceae, fatty acids, phytosteroids, terpenes, GC/MS, NMR

[1] Carrazza LR, Avila JCC, Silva ML. Manual tecnológico de aproveitamento integral do fruto e da folha do babaçu (Attalea ssp.). 2a ed.- Instituto Sociedade, População e Natureza. Brasilia, Brasil 2012.

[2] Cavallari MM, Toledo MM. What is the name of the babassu? A note on the confusing use of scientific names for this important palm tree. Rodriguésia 67: 533-538, 2016.
doi: 10.1590/2175-7860201667218

[3] Miranda IPA, Rabelo A, Bueno CR, Barbosa EM, Ribeiro MNS. Frutos de palmeiras da Amazônia. Ed.-INPA, Manaus, Brasil, 2001.

[4] Accessed on 02/03/2018.

[5] Prance GT, Balee W, Boom BM, Carneiro RC. Quantitative ethnobotany and case for conservation in Amazonia, Conservative Biology, 1: 296-310, 1987.
doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.1987.tb00050.x

[6] Rocha DQ, Barros DK, Costa EJC, Souza SS, Passos RR, Veiga- Junior VF, Chaar JS. Determinação da matéria prima utilizada na produção do biodiesel adicionado ao diesel mineral a través de monitoramento seletivo de íons, Quimica Nova, 31: 1062-1066, 2008.
doi: 10.1590/S0100-40422008000500022

[7] Ranucci CR, Alves, HJ, Monteiro, MR, Kugelmeier CL, Bariccatti RA, Rodrigues OC, Antônio SE. Potential alternative aviation fuel from jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.), babassu (Orbignya phalerata) and palm kernel (Elaeis guineensis) as blends with Jet-A1 kerosene, Journal of Cleaner Production, 185: 860-870, 2018.
doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.03.084

[8] Silva BP, Parente JP. An anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory polysaccharide from Orbignya phalerata, Fitoterapia, 72: 887-893, 2001.
doi: 10.1016/S0367-326X(01)00338-0

[9] Mércia HSL, Souza CA, Monteiro PM. Ethnopharmacological use of babaçu (Orbignya phalerata Mart) in communities of babassu nut breakers in Maranhão, Brazil, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 133:1-5, 2011.
doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.08.056

[10] Barroqueiro ESB, Prado DS, Barcellos PS, Silva TA, Pereira WS, Silva LA, Maciel MCG, Barroqueiro RB, Nascimento FRF, Goncalves AG, Guerra RNM. Immunomodulatory and antimicrobial activity of babassu mesocarp improves the survival in lethal sepsis, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 7p, 2016.
doi: 10.1155/2016/2859652

[11] Silva MCP, Brito JM, Ferreira AS, Vale AAM, Santos APA,Silva LA, Pereira PVS, Nascimento FRF, Nicolete R, Guerra RNM. Antileishmanial and immunomodulatory effect of babassuloaded PLGA microparticles: A useful drug target to Leishmania amazonensis infection, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14p, 2018.
doi: 10.1155/2018/3161045

[12] Azevedo APS, Farias JC, Costa GC, Ferreira SCP, Aragão-Filho WC, Sousa PRA, Pinheiro MT, Maciel MCG, Silva LA, Lopes AS, Barroqueiro ESB, Borges MOR, Guerra RNM, Nascimento FRF. Antithrombotic effect of chronic oral treatment with Orbignya phalerata Mart, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 111: 155-159, 2007.
doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2006.11.005

[13] Santos DS, Silva IG, Araújo BQ, Lopes-Júnior CA, Monção NBN, Cito AMGL, Souza MHSL, Nascimento MDSB, Costa MCP. Extraction and evaluation of fatty acid compositon of Orbignya phalerata Martius (Arecaceae) from Maranhão State, Brazil, Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, 24: 355-362, 2013.
doi: 10.5935/0103-5053.20130045

[14] Ferreira BS, Faza LP, Mireille Le Hyaric M. A comparison of the physicochemical properties and fatty acid composition of indaia (Attalea dubia) and babassu (Orbignya phalerata) oils 4p, 2012.
doi: 10.1100/2012/532374

[15] Chai KF, Adzahan NM, Karim R, Rukayadi Y, Ghazali HM. Characteristics of fat, and saponin and tannin contents of 11 varieties of rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.) seed, International Journal of Food Properties, 21: 1091-1106, 2018.
doi: 10.1080/10942912.2018.1479857

[16] Shibahara A, Yamamoto K, Nakayama T, Kajimoto G. cis- Vaccenic acid in pulp lipids of commonly available fruits, Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 64: 397-401, 1987.
doi: 10.1007/BF02549303

[17] Montúfar R, Laffargue A, Pintaud JC, Hamon S, Avallone S, Dussert S. Oenocarpus bataua Mart. (Arecaceae): rediscovering a source of high oleic vegetable oil from Amazonia, The Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 87:167-172, 2010.
doi: 10.1007/s11746-009-1490-4

[18] Yang WQ, Wang HC, Wang WJ, Wang Y, Zhang XQ, Ye WC. Chemical constituents from the fruits of Areca catechu, Journal of Chinese Medical Materials, 35: 400-402, 2012.

[19] Silva P, Pinheiro AC, Rodriguez L, Figueroa V, Baginsky C. Fuentes naturales de fitoesteroles y factores de produccion que lo modifican, Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrición, 66: 17-24, 2016.
How to Cite
Batista de Farias, G., da Silva Rodrigues, J. L., de Sousa Ribeiro, M. N., Oliveira Magalhães, L., Ferreira, A. G., & Lima, M. da P. (2019). Chemical constituent analysis of the Babassu (Orbignya phalerata Mart.) mesocarp. Universitas Scientiarum, 24(2), 323–335.
Productos Naturales / Natural Products / Produtos Naturais