Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The aguaje or buriti palms

The Amazon region has many sources of fruits, especially native ones not yet explored, but which have some potential for use, as is the case with certain palms.

In recent years, the search for foods that are good sources of natural antioxidants has been driving studies to evaluate compounds present in plant species that could be related to antioxidant activity. The Amazon region hosts numerous native fruits that might fill in this gap and have the potential to be explored as functional foods, among which are some Arecaceae species such as bacaba (Oenocarpus bacaba), buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), inajá (Attalea maripa), pupunha (Bactris gasipaes), and tucumã (Astrocaryum vulgare).

Throughout many parts of the Amazon basin, fruit from the palm Mauritia flexuosa L.f. is harvested for subsistence and commercial purposes. Known as aguaje in the Peruvian Amazon, the commercial extraction of fruit from this dioecious palm provides an important source of income for rural communities as well as urban families living in and near the city of Iquitos. 

Aguaje palm recolection - sustainable

The fruit is consumed raw or processed into a variety of products (e.g. beverages, ice cream, ice pops, etc.) and recent estimates suggest that residents of Iquitos consume approximately 148.8 metric tons of aguaje fruit per month, the vast majority of which is harvested by the felling and killing of adult female trees in the forest.

According to the Maijuna (people from the amazon)there are three different varieties of M. flexuosa ,are found growing near the Maijuna lands and they are classified based on the color of their fruit pulp: red aguaje, yellow aguaje and white aguaje. 

In conclusion, the aguaje can brind us certain benefits, Not only for those who consume it but also for those who market it. Read more in 
The socio-cultural importance of aguaje in communities of the Peruvian Amazon

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