The mangaba (Hancornia speciosa Gomes) is a typical fruit of the Brazilian cerrado and caatinga. It has excellent nutritional composition but there are no studies reporting the fruit characteristics and its industrial use. The aim of this study was to analyze the physical and physicochemical characteristics of mangaba fruit in three different maturity stages. Fruit weight, volume, length, titratable acidity, vitamin C, soluble solids and color at 1/3 ripe, 2/3 ripe and ripe maturity stages were analyzed. Physical characteristics showed great potential for industrialization due to the size and weight of fruits. High vitamin C levels and low acidity indexes were obtained, which are of interest for use of fruits in jams, jellies and liquors. However, soluble solids content was lower for ripe fruits, which indicates low sugar contents. Thus, the fruit has potential for consumption in the natural form and for processing and can be incorporated into many food products.
Key words: Maturation, composition, economic potential.
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