There are many native species from Cerrado that are used as food supply. However, their nutritional constitution is still unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate and quantify the nutritional composition of coquinho-azedo fruits, obtained from different regions and populations in Northern Minas Gerais, using multivariate analysis. Ripe fruits of various B. capitata populations were obtained from four locations in Northern Minas Gerais. Fruit samples were analyzed for total acidity, total sugars, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity, macro- and microelements. Results show that Butia capitata fruits are acidic given that values of titratable acidity ranged from 1.57 to 2.61, and Brix values ranged from 6.6° to 10.00°Bx. The total sugar content was relatively low with the lowest values observed in groups 4, 5 and 8 from Cristália (0.65, 0.75 and 0.78%, respectively). Ascorbic acid content also varied among populations and locations; the highest average (92.43) was observed in group 2 from Cristália and the highest value (821.63 mg/100 g fw) was observed in group 7 from Bonito de Minas. The highest antioxidant activity value (58.39%) was observed in group 7 from Cristália. Multivariate analysis grouped and separated populations that were genetically similar or dissimilar for ascorbic acid, antioxidant activity, total phenolic compounds and total sugars. The nutritional composition of B. capitata varied widely according to the sampled site and groups of plants. In general, the fruits contain high amounts of ascorbic acid, potassium and iron.
Key words: Arecaceae, ascorbic acid, antioxidant capacity, dendogram.
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