BACKGROUND: The seeds of Araucaria angustifolia, namely pinhão, are consumed in south and southeast Brazil as flour or baked. There is relatively little information about the chemical composition and nutritional value of the seed and its flour.
RESULTS: Pinhão flour was obtained by drying at constant temperature of 50 °C (PF50) or 80 °C (PF80) in a circulating air drier for 16 h, and evaluated as a feed additive for growing rats. Wistar rats were fed five experimental diets (n = 6 rats per diet) containing different protein sources: casein (diet CAS), casein supplemented with 20% (w/w) flour PF50 or PF80 (diets PF50 and PF80), casein supplemented with 20% pinhão without heat treatment (diet NPF), and a non-protein group (diet APROT). Values for weight gain, feed ingest, protein efficiency ratio (PER) and net protein ratio (NPR) were similar for diets CAS and PF80. Lowest values for all nutritional parameters were observed for diets complemented with pinhão flour. Trypsin inhibitor activity was detected in PF50 but not in PF80.
CONCLUSION: Pinhão flour heated at 80 °C for 16 h and used as supplementary in diet had the most similar results in all nutritional parameters to casein-based diets, and can be used as a complementary source, substituting up to 20% of a high biological value protein in food formulations. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry