ABSTRACT The benefits of various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, have been the focus of several studies aimed at improving welfare, health, and reducing the incidence of diseases. Therefore, the present paper objectified to investigate the presence of molecules of biotechnological and pharmacological interest in peel, seed, and pulp of Annona x atemoya Mabb. Aqueous extracts of the fruit parts were obtained with different buffers and assessed as to their protein and phenolic compounds content. The three parts of the fruit presented different proportions of these compounds when subject to different extraction conditions, with the highest concentrations of proteins being found in the seed and phenolic compounds in the peel of the studied fruit. Bioactive proteins (protease inhibitors and lectins) were detected through inhibitory tests for trypsin and chymotrypsin and hemagglutinating activity tests with human erythrocytes. A variation of 400 to 9600 inhibition units for the trypsin in the analyzed extracts, whereas for chymotrypsin a variation of 200 to 2500 in the inhibition units for the three fruit parts, considering the different extraction conditions were identified. The extracts obtained from the seeds and the peel presented titers higher than 0.9 hemagglutination units, suggesting that the by-products from the processing of A. x atemoya are potential sources of bioactive molecules.
RESUMO Os benefícios de diversos alimentos, como frutas e hortaliças, têm sido foco de vários estudos que visam a melhorar o bem-estar, a saúde e a reduzir a incidência de doenças. Dessa forma, no presente estudo, averiguou-se a presença de moléculas de interesse biotecnológico e farmacológico em casca, semente e polpa de Annona x atemoya Mabb. Extratos aquosos das três partes do fruto foram obtidos com diferentes tampões e avaliados quanto a seu conteúdo de proteínas e compostos fenólicos. As três partes do fruto apresentaram proporções diferentes destes compostos quando submetidos a distintas condições de extração, sendo que as maiores concentrações de proteínas foram encontradas na semente, e as de fenólicos na casca, do fruto estudado. Proteínas bioativas (inibidores de proteases e lectinas) foram detectadas por ensaios inibitórios para tripsina e quimotripsina, e ensaios de atividade hemaglutinante com eritrócitos humanos. Identificou-se variação de 400 a 9.600 unidades de inibição para a tripsina nos extratos analisados; já para a quimotripsina foi vista variação nas unidades de inibição de 200 a 2.500 unidades nas três partes do fruto e nas diferentes condições de extração. Os extratos obtidos das sementes e da casca apresentaram títulos superiores a 0,9 unidades de hemaglutinação, sugerindo que os resíduos do processamento de produtos derivados de A. x atemoya são potenciais fontes de moléculas bioativas.
The peanut is an oleaginous plant of high nutritional value, a source of protein and a trypsin inhibitor. Trypsin inhibitors are proteins present in the vegetable kingdom, considered anti-nutritional factors for animals. However, there have been several recent reports about their heterologous and beneficial effects on human health. These important effects have been the focus of studies investigating these inhibitors in foods. The aim of the present study was to isolate and determine the estimated molecular mass and specific inhibitory activity, for trypsin in the Japanese peanut, peanut butter, and peanut nougat using the techniques of precipitation with ammonium sulfate and affinity chromatography on trypsin - Sepharose CNBr 4B. The techniques used in this study were efficient for isolating the protein inhibitors with antitryptic specific activity of 694 UI mg-1, 823 UI mg-1 and 108 UI mg-1 for the Japanese peanut, peanut nougat, and peanut butter, respectively. The techniques featured high selectivity of the adsorbent, with consequent efficiency in isolation, given the low amount of dosed proteins and specific antitryptic activity presented by the products studied. The various health-related benefits show the importance of detecting and isolating efficient trypsin inhibitors in foods, taking into account the health claims attributed to the vegetable and its high consumption by humans.