Macauba (Acrocomia aculeata): promising source of nutrients and association with health benefits, a review




Macauba; Bioactive compounds; Health benefits.


Macauba is widely distributed in Brazilian territory. In addition to being used in the biodiesel production and animal food, it is also rich in bioactive compounds. Therefore, the objective of this review is to present the nutritional composition, the main bioactive compounds, and the potential health benefits of macauba. Macauba has high content of carotenoids, tocopherols, proteins, phenolic compounds, oleic acid, and fiber. Due the presence of bioactive compounds, macauba have the potential to promote health and can be used to prevent or treatment chronic non-communicable disease. Furthermore, this fruit and their by-products can be used in the development of new food and pharmaceutical products, promoting benefit family farming and contribute to the health benefits.

Author Biographies

Neuza Maria Brunoro Costa, Federal University of Espírito Santo

Department of Pharmacy and Nutrition, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Alegre, ES, Brazil

Hércia Stampini Duarte Martino, Federal University of Viçosa

Department of Nutrition and Health, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil.

Frederico Augusto Ribeiro de Barros, Federal University of Viçosa

Department of Food Technology, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil.


Apovian, C. M., Aronne, L. J., Bessesen, D. H., McDonnell, M. E., Murad, M. H., Pagotto, U., Ryan, D. H., & Still, C. D. (2015). Pharmacological management of obesity: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 100 (2), 342-362.

Babbar, N., Oberoi, H. S., Uppal, D. S., & Patil, R. T. (2011). Total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of extracts obtained from six important fruit residues. Food Research International, 44 (1), 391-396.

Bonet, M. L., Canas, J. A., Ribot, J., & Palou, A. (2015). Carotenoids and their conversion products in the control of adipocytefunction, adiposity and obesity. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 572, 112-125.

Barber, T. M., Kabisch, S., Pfeiffer, A. F. H., & Weickert, M. O. (2020). The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre. Nutrients, 12 (10), 3209.

Bonet, M. L., Canas, J. A., Ribot, J., & Palou, A. (2015). Carotenoids and their conversion products in the control of adipocyte function, adiposity and obesity. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 572, 112-125.

César, A. S., Almeida, F. A., De Souza, R. P., Silva, G. C., & Atabani, A. E. (2015). The prospects of using Acrocomia aculeata (macauba) a non-edible biodiesel feedstock in Brazil. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 49, 1213-1220.

Brizola, J., & Fantin, N. (2016). Revisão de literatura e revisão sistemática da literatura. Revista da Educação do Vale do Arinos, 3, (2), 23-39.

Coimbra, M. C., & Jorge, N. (2011). Characterization of the Pulp and Kernel Oils from Syagrus oleracea, Syagrus romanzoffiana, and Acrocomia aculeate. Journal of Food Science, 76 (8).

Coimbra, M. C., & Jorge, N. (2011). Proximate composition of guariroba (Syagrus oleracea), jerivá (Syagrus romanzoffiana) and macauna (Acrocomia aculeata) palm fruits. Food Research International, 44, 2139-2142.

Coimbra, M. C., & Jorge, N. (2012). Fatty acids and bioactive compounds of the pulps and kernels of Brazilian palm species, guariroba (Syagrus oleraces), jerivá (Syagrus romanzoffiana) and macaúba (Acrocomia aculeata). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 92, 679–684.

Damgaard, M., Graff, J., Fuglsang, S., Holst, J. J., Rehfeld, J. F., & Madsen, J. L. (2013). Effects of oleic acid and olive oil on gastric emptying, Gut hormone secretion and appetite in lean and overweight or obese males. e-SPEN Journal, 8 (1).

Dessimoni-Pinto, N. A. V., Silva, V. M., Batista, A. G., Vieira, G., Souza, C. R., Dumont, P. V., & Santos, G. K. M. (2010). Características físico-químicas da amêndoa de Macaúba e seu aproveitamento na elaboração de barras de cereais. Alimentos e Nutricao, 21, (1), 77-84.

Duarte, F. L. M., Da Silva, B. P., Grancieri, M., Sant'Ana, C. T., Toledo, R. C. L., São José, V. P. B., Pacheco, S., Martino, H. S. D., & Barros, F. A. R. (2022). Macauba (Acrocomia aculeata) kernel has good protein quality and improves the lipid profile and short chain fatty acids content in Wistar rats. Food & Function, 13, (21), 11342-11352.

Edwards, P. A., Tabor, D., Kast, H. R., & Venkateswaran, A. (2000). Regulation of gene expression by SREBP and SCAP. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1529, 103-113.

Evaristo, A. B, Grossi, J. A. S., Carneiro, A. D. O., Pimentel, L. D., Motoike, S. Y., & Kuki, K. N. (2016). Actual and putative potentials of macauba palm as feedstock for solid biofuel production from residues. Biomass Bioenergy, 85, 18-24.

Gavahian, M., Khaneghah, A. M., Lorenzo, J. M., Munekata, P. E. S., Mantrana, I. G., Collado, M. C., Martínez, A. J. M., & Barba, F. J. (2019). Health benefits of olive oil and its components: Impacts on gut microbiota antioxidant activities, and prevention of noncommunicable diseases. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 88, 220-227.

Guasch-Ferre, M., Liu, G., Li, Y., Sampson, L., Manson, J. E., Salas-Salvado, J., Gonzales-Martinez, M. A., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., Sun, Q., & Hu, F. B. (2020). Olive oil consumption and cardiovascular risk in U.S. adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 75, 15.

Hiane, P. A., Baldasso, P. A., Marangoni, S., & Macedo, M. L. R. (2006). Chemical and nutritional evaluation of kernels of bocaiuva, Acrocomia aculeata (Jacq.) Lodd. Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, 26, (3), 683-689.

Hernández-Rodas, M. C., Valenzuela, R., Echeverría, F., Rincón-Cervera, M. A., Espinosa, A., Illesca, P., Muñoz, P., Corbari, A., Romero, N., Gonzalez-Mañan, D., & Videla, L. A. (2017). Supplementation with Docosahexaenoic Acid and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Prevents Liver Steatosis Induced by a High-Fat Diet in Mice through PPAR-α and Nrf2 Upregulation with Concomitant SREBP-1c and NF-kB Downregulation. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 61, 12.

International olive oil council. World Olive Oil Figures. (2018). Available in: <>. Access in: September/25/2018.

Johnson, Q. R., Mostofian, B., Fuente, G. G., Smith, J. C., & Heng, X. (2018). Effects of carotenoids on lipid bilayers. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics Journal, 20, (5), 3795 - 3804.

Le, T. H., Disegna, M., & Lloyd, T. (2020). National food Consumption patterns: converging trends and the implications for health. EuroChioces, 01-08.

Lescano, C. H., Oliveira, I. P., Silva, L. R., Baldivia, D. S., Sanjinez-Argandoña, E. J., Arruda, E. J., Moraes, I. C. F., & Lima, F. F. (2015). Nutriets content, characterization and oil extraction from Acrocomia aculeata (Jacq.) Lodd. fruits. African Journal of Food Science, 9, (3), 113-119.

Lieb, V. M., Schex, R., Esquivel, P., Jiménez, V. M., Schmarrf, H. G., Carle, R., & Steingass, C. B. (2019). Fatty acids and triacylglycerols in the mesocarp and kernel oils of maturing Costa Rican Acrocomia aculeata fruits. NFS Journal, 14, (15), 6-13.

Lima, N. E., Carvalho, A. A., Meerow, A. W., & Manfrin, M. H. (2018). A review of the palm genus Acrocomia: Neotropical green gold. Organisms Diversity and Evolution, 18, (2), 151-161.

Munhoz, C. L., Guimarães, R. C. A., Sanjinez-Argandoña E. J., & Maldonade, I. R. (2018). Lipid nutritional quality of the pulp and kernel of bocaiuva (Acrocomia aculeata (Jacq.) Lodd). Ambiência, 14, (2), 343-355.

Ni, Y., Zhao, L., Yu, H., Ma, X., Bao, Y., & Rajani, C. (2015). Circulating unsaturated fatty acids delineate the metabolic status of obese individuals. EBIOM, 2, (10), 1513-1522.

Oliveira, I. P., Correa, W. A., Neves, P. V., Silva, P. V. B., Lescano, C. H., Michels, F. S., Passos, W. E., Muzzi, R. M., Oliveira, S. L., & Caires, A. R. L. (2017). Optical Analysis of the Oils Obtained from Acrocomia aculeata (Jacq.) Lodd: Mapping Absorption-Emission Profiles in an Induced Oxidation Process. Photonics, 4, (3).

Ou, J., Tu, H., Shan, B., Luk, A., & Bashmakov, Y. (2001). Unsaturated fatty acids inhibit transcription of the sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) gene by antagonizinng ligand-dependent activation of the LXR. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98, (11), 6027-6032.

Pires, T. P., Souza, E. S, Kuki, K. N., & Motoike, S. Y. (2013). Ecophysiological traits of the macaw palm: a contribution towards the domestication of a novel oil crop. Industrial Crops and Products, 44, 200-210.

Ramos, M. I. L., Ramos Filho, M. M., Hiane, P. A., Braga Neto, J. A., & Siqueira, E. M. A. (2008). Qualidade nutricional da polpa de bocaiúva Acrocomia aculeata (Jacq.) Lodd. Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, 28, 90-94.

Ribot, J., Felipe, F., Bonet, M. L., & Palou, A. (2012). Changes of Adiposity in Response to Vitamin A Status Correlate with Changes of PPARγ2 Expression. Obesity Research. 9, (8), 500-509.

Río, J. C. del, Evaristo, A. B., Marques, G., Martín-Ramos, P., Martín-Gil, J., & Gutiérrez, A. (2016). Chemical composition and thermal behavior of the pulp and kernel oils from macauba palm (Acrocomia aculeata) fruit. Industrial Crops and Products, 84, 294-304.

Riqueira, J. P. S., Monção, F. P., Sales, E. C. J., Reis, S. T., Alves, D. D., Aguiar, A. A. R., Rocha Júnior, V. R., & Chamone. J. A. (2017). Composição química e digestibilidade in vitro de tortas da macaúba. Montes Claros, 19, (2).

Rodrigues, I. D., Santos, M. M. R., Candido, C. J., Santos, E. F., & Novello, D. (2017). Adição de farinha de bocaiúva em alfajores: caracterização físico-química e sensorial entre crianças. Revista da Universidade Vale do Rio Verde, 15, (2), 721-732.

Rodriguez-Amaya, D. B. (2019). Update on natural food pigments - A mini-review on carotenoids, anthocyanins, and betalains. Food Research International, 124, 200-205.

Rumsey, S. C., Galeano, N. F., Lipschitz, B., & Deckelbaum, R. J. (1995). Oleate and other long chain fatty acids stimulate low density lipoprotein receptor activity by enhancing acyl coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase activity and altering intracellular regulatory cholesterol pools in cultured cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 270, (17), 10008-10016.

Sanjinez-Argandoña, E. J., & Chuba, C. A. M. (2011). Caracterização biométrica, física e química de frutos da palmeira bocaiuva Acrocomia aculeata (Jacq) Lodd. Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura, 33, (3), 1023-1028.

Schex, R., Lieb, V. M., Jiménez, V. M., Esquivel, P., Schweiggert, R. M., Carle, R., & Steingass, C. B. (2018). HPLC-DAD-APCI/ESI-MSn analysis of carotenoids and α-tocopherol in Costa Rican Acrocomia aculeata fruits of varying maturity stages. Food Research International, 105, 645-653.

Shevkani, K., & Chourasia, S. (2021). Dietary Proteins: Functions, Health Benefits and Healthy Aging. In: Rattan, S.I.S., Kaur, G. (eds) Nutrition, Food and Diet in Ageing and Longevity. Healthy Ageing and Longevity, 14.

Tanaka-Yachi, R., Shirasaki, M., Otsu, R., Takahashi-Muto, C., Inoue, H., Aoki, Y., Koike, T., & Kiyose, C. (2018). δ-Tocopherol promotes thermogenic gene expression via PGC-1α upregulation in 3T3-L1 cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 506, (1), 53-59.

Toma, L., Sanda, G.M., Niculescu, L.S., Deleanu, M., Sima, A.V., & Stancu, C.S. (2020). Phenolic Compounds Exerting Lipid-Regulatory, Anti-Inflammatory and Epigenetic Effects as Complementary Treatments in Cardiovascular Diseases. Biomolecules, 10, 641.

Vianna, S. A., Berton, L. H. C., Pott, A., Guerreiro, S. M. C., & Colombo, C. A. (2017). Biometric Characterization of Fruits and Morphoanatomy of the Mesocarp of Acrocomia Species (Arecaceae). International Journal of Biology, 9, (3).

Wang, M. X., Jiao, J. H., Li, Z. Y., Liu, R. R., Shi, Q., Ma, L. (2013). Lutein supplementation reduces lipid peroxidation and C-reactive protein in healthy nonsmokers. Atherosclerosis, 227, 380–385.

World Health Organization (WHO). (2018). Fact sheet: Obesity and overweight. Western Pacific.

Wu, G. (2016). Dietary protein intake and human health. Food Function, 7, (3), 1251-65.

Waddell, I. S., & Orfila, C. (2022). Dietary fiber in the prevention of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases: from epidemiological evidence to potential molecular mechanisms. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 01-16.




How to Cite

SANT’ ANA, C. T. .; COSTA, N. M. B. .; MARTINO, H. S. D. .; BARROS, F. A. R. de . Macauba (Acrocomia aculeata): promising source of nutrients and association with health benefits, a review. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 12, n. 2, p. e13912239223, 2023. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v12i2.39223. Disponível em: Acesso em: 3 jun. 2023.



Review Article