Pequi Oil - Caryocar Brasiliense - is the new Omega 6!*

Pequi oil is rich in healthy fatty acids and carotenoids.

 

  • Pequi oil can provide several health benefits

Pequi is the fruit of the tree called “pequizeiro” (Caryocar brasiliense Camb.), common in the Brazilian Cerrado, its cultivation is a source of income for several families that inhabit such localities (Minas Gerais, Goiás, Distrito Federal, São Paulo and Bahia). Also known as piqui, pequi, piquiá, piquiá-bravo, almond-of-thorn, grão-de-caballo, pequerim and suari, pequi stands out in the typical cuisine of these regions, applied in local dishes, condiments, oils and sweet drinks.

Thanks to its commercial interest, as in cooking and oil extraction, pequi generates numerous jobs and income for several families at harvest time. A pequi tree produces between 500 and 2000 fruits per crop, producing on average 180 kg of pulp, 33 kg of kernels, 119 kg of pulp oil and 15 litres of kernel oil.

It has an unique mix of healthy omega oils!

Pequi oil can be extracted from its pulp or kernel, thus having differences in its compositions. The most pronounced change among these oils is the predominance of fatty acids. In pulp oil, oleic acid (omega 9) predominates, while in kernel oil, the predominant acid is palmitic (omega 7).

The traditional process of extraction of pequi oil is not unique, and can vary from family to family. The most artisanal method, and still very present in the rural household production of the oil, is the process by aqueous extraction. After the fruit skin is removed, the pulp and the kernels are placed in water and heated to 80 degrees Celsius. As the oil is not soluble in water and is less dense, it "rises" and stays on the surface, so it can be collected by decanting or even manually, as is done by traditional productions.

Other processes are extruder pressing, followed by solvent treatment (usually ethanol), or simple pressing, which may be followed by enzymatic treatment to increase the yield.

Pequi oil is widely used in cooking, but it is also used in the cosmetics industry, in the production of soap, and as a medicinal product, in the fight against bronchitis, colds and flu, but these effects are not scientifically proven, they are only part of local popular medicine.

The pulp of pequi has a large amount of carotenoids, responsible for its yellowish coloration, but it is not only the characteristic colour that these compounds bring. Some carotenoids are considered generators of vitamin A (when consumed, they become vitamin A). Other carotenoids present in the pulp of pequi perform antioxidant action, with all its added benefits to health.

Due to the presence of these compounds and various fatty acids, pequi and its oil are studied and applied in the pharma/nutraceutical industries and in cosmetics. Research studies on the antifungal effects and therapeutic applications of the oil and other compounds are ongoing in Brazilian universities.

  • Antioxidant effect:

Thanks to this effect, pequi oil is applied in cosmetics, such as facial creams, to act as anti-aging and contribute to the skin overall apperarance. This high antioxidant effect of the oil also gives a greater stability to the product, not having the need of addition of preservatives.

Presence of carotenoids:

Being a source rich in carotenoids, pequi oil is edible and widely used in cooking as cooking oil.

  • Presence of fatty acids:

The high amount of oleic acid present in pequi oil is an attractive for the production of biodiesel. The oxidation of biofuel is a major problem that affects its quality and interest in its production. Monounsaturated acids are considered more interesting for the production of biofuel because of their stability. In addition to the high content of monounsaturated acids, pequi oil has a great antioxidant effect, as seen previously, which contributes even more to the stability of the oil. However, the limiting factor for the production of biofuel through this oil is the existing low production and also its crop, which is short - only four months a year.

Many people apply pequi oil on their hair, which has a moisturizing and repairing effect.

Pequi oil is one of the best vegetable oils available, providing health benefits through its use in cooking and cosmetics. However, before using it, make sure that the product is 100% natural and pure, free of components that can be harmful to health. Usually products containing pequi oil may also contain harmful substances, such as parabens, in order to improve some physical aspect of the product and up to its life time.

Our Pequi oil capsules come in two versions, Pequi Kernel Oil, rich in Omega 7 and Pequi Pulp Oil, which is rich in Omega 9. They are produced according to very demanding safety procedures in a state of the art facility, only from fresh fruits without the use of harmful chemicals.

Source: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0101-20612011000400008 

 

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