Online Event
September 01-03, 2022 | Online Event
GPMB 2022

Pre-harvest treatments on the plant and fruits aiming to increase the antioxidant content and metabolic activity of two species of açaí fruits at harvest and during cold storage

Leandro Camargo Neves, Speaker at Plant Science Conferences
Roraima Federal University, Brazil
Title : Pre-harvest treatments on the plant and fruits aiming to increase the antioxidant content and metabolic activity of two species of açaí fruits at harvest and during cold storage


Acai is formed by two species of palm tree, Euterpe precatoria and Euterpe oleraceae belonging to the Arecaceae family. The Euterpe precatoria has only 1 stipe, it is generally taller and occurs in the southwestern Amazon, while the Euterpe oleraceae has tillering in average 4–9, reaching more than 25 m in high and diameter trunks of 9–16 cm and occurs in the Eastern Amazon. Both acai species may grow in dryland, floodplain and rainforest. The açai fruit is a species native to the Amazon, Brazil, which has attracted the attention of several industry sectors due to the pulp extracted from the fruit, which has a rich source of antioxidant, phenolic and fatty acid compounds. Orchard management practices applied to tree fruits may influence the quality of the fruit as well as its chemistry. Furthermore, the fruit maturity stage at harvest will have an influence on the quality and the antioxidant properties. Thus, the objective of this study was to study different pre-harvest strategies to enhance the production of phenolic antioxidants on the harvested açai fruit from fruit trees subjected to three wound-based orchard practices including removal of the aerial part, thinning and cuts in the stipe, the influence of early harvest of açai fruit in two species including Euterpe oleracea Mart. and Euterpe precatoria Mart. It was evaluated the physiological response including ethylene biosynthesis and carbon dioxide respiration rate, selected primary and secondary metaboilites and the antioxidant capacity of the fruit at harvest and during storage. At the end, pre-harvest treatments like wound-based orchard management practices and early harvest were applied to açai plants to yield higher levels of antioxidants. Orchard practices like 50% shoot suppression and 50% cluster thinning when applied 87 d before harvest (187 days DAA) were similar to control fruits at harvest and during storage (20 ?C). However, lesions in the stipe applied 187 DAA altered the acid, carbohydrate, phenolic content and the ethylene biosynthesis compared to control fruits, showing enhanced fruit antioxidant activity. Early harvest of fruit including 120 and 150 DAA, showed higher acid, lower sugars, higher phenolic content and higher ethylene biosynthesis and respiration rate compared to control fruits, showing the highest levels of fruit antioxidant activity. The selected strategies studied may achieve higher yields of phenolic antioxdants from açai fruit and target high value health markets including functional foods and dietary supplements.

Audience Take Away Notes: 

  • That agronomic management of the crop in the field, in non-ideal conditions of cultivation, with the possible use of pre-harvest damages can considerably increase the content of bioactive substances in the species.
  • Search for new forms of food production and processing aiming at increasing the amounts of functional compounds in in natura foods


Graduated in Agronomic Engineering at São Paulo State University (1999). Master's degree in Food Science and Technology at Pelotas Federal University (2002) and PhD in Agronomy Program at Londrina State University (2008). In 2011 completed an academic training in Food Science, at TAMU. Permanent faculty in the Horticulture Postgraduate Program at UFRR. Currently Associate Professor at the Federal University of Roraima, member in the Institutional Committee of Research and Scientific Initiation. Achieved experience in ​​Postharvest Physiology and Food Science and Technology, with emphasis on Food Quality Assessment and Control, Postharvest and Food Processing and Functional Properties in Amazonian Fruit Plants.