This chapter reviews two oleaginous fruits that are widely consumed by people in the Amazon region: Bacaba (Oenocarpus bacaba) and Açaí (Euterpe oleracea). Besides their food and the folk medicinal uses, studies suggest that substances present in both berries have antioxidative effects, antimicrobial, and therapeutic properties such as hypocholesterolemic and neuroprotection effects. These therapeutic effects are related to phenolic compounds, anthocyanins, and fatty acids, which can prevent serious problems such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, and depression. The use of supercritical fluid technology is described as a technique to obtain the best extracts of bacaba and açaí, as well as their valuable constituents. Indubitably, this technology is a great tool for human health and all with the advantage of presenting nontoxic solvents such as carbon dioxide or water. Açaí and bacaba fruits represent not only food but also a source of compounds that can work in both prevention and treatment of diseases.
Part of the book: Superfood and Functional Food
This chapter describes the use of carbon dioxide at high pressures as an alternative for the extraction of bioactive compounds in a more sustainable way, addressing some of its physicochemical properties, such as pressure, temperature, density, solvation, selectivity, and its interaction with the solute when modified by other solvents such as ethanol and water. This extraction process is considered chemically “green,” when compared to conventional extraction processes using toxic organic solvents.
Part of the book: Carbon Dioxide Chemistry, Capture and Oil Recovery
The use of medicinal plants rich in essential oils can represent a viable source for the control of some diseases, being able to constitute a possible therapeutic alternative due to its effectiveness. Essential oils are natural volatile fractions extracted from aromatic plants and formed by classes of substances such as esters of fatty acids, mono and sesquiterpenes, phenylpropanoids, aldehyde alcohols and, in some cases, aliphatic hydrocarbons, among others. Essential oils have been used by mankind for medicinal purposes for several centuries, with reports coming from Ancient Egypt. In this sense, the present work aims to approach the biological activities of essential oils such as antioxidant, anticancer, antiprotozoal, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities of different plant matrices rich in essential oils.
Part of the book: Potential of Essential Oils
One of the main reasons for environmental disturbances such as declination in pasture productivity and biodiversity losses is the high infestation of herbaceous weeds, generally referred to as “Juquira” in the Amazon region. If they are not adequately controlled, such infestation might lead to degradation of pasture, resulting in complete loss of productivity and subsequent abandonment of the area. In this sense, this chapter aims to describe the main invasive species present in the Amazon region, as well as to characterize both the old and innovative techniques of use in agriculture, in large and small scale, for the control of agricultural pests.
Part of the book: Diversity and Ecology of Invasive Plants