Posgrado en Ciencia y Tecnología Agroalimentaria, Departamento de Ingeniería Agroindustrial, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Km 38.5 Carretera Federal México-Texcoco, Cp. 56230, Chapingo, Mexico. [Email]
Mexican landrace avocados are naturally distributed mainly in high areas of central Mexico, where they have been produced and consumed since pre-Hispanic times. However, trees of these species are being replaced by improved varieties with greater global demand, and many species have been lost due to the destruction of their natural habitats. Many people in Mexico like to consume the pulp and peel of these fruits and have done so since pre-Hispanic times. This is because the peel of Mexican landrace avocados, unlike the peel of Hass avocados, is very thin and flavorful. The peel color may be bluish-purple or dark reddish due to the presence of anthocyanins, which are compounds with antioxidant activity. The objective of this study was to assess the oil and anthocyanin contents and to evaluate the antioxidant activity in fruits of 11 accessions collected from producing-regions of Mexico. The oil content was 16.2 to 32.3 g 100 g-1 in pulp, and the main unsaturated fatty acids were oleic, linoleic and palmitoleic acids, depending on the accession. The anthocyanin contents in peels ranged from 0.64 to 47 mg g-1 fresh weight. The highest antioxidant activity was found in the peel (53.3-307.3 mmol g-1 fresh weight). The results confirm that the pulp and peel of dark-peel Mexican landrace avocados could be important nutraceuticals for humans.