BACKGROUND: The almond of the baru tree (Dipteryx alata Vog.), a native species of the Brazilian Savanna, is used in the gastronomy of the central western region of the country. There is relatively little information about the chemical composition and nutritional value of the baru almond, which was the motivation for this research.
RESULTS: The baru almonds had high lipid (397–437 g kg−1) and protein (238–281 g kg−1) contents. There were differences in the amino acid score (AAS = 83–103%) and limiting amount of sulfur amino acids, depending on the origin of the almond. The protein value of the baru almond was higher than that of the peanut according to the relative net protein ratio (RNPRBaru = 74%, RNPRPeanut = 66%) and the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). The baru almond also had high iron (mean 48.1 mg kg−1), zinc (mean 46.6 mg kg−1) and dietary fibre (mean 115.8 g kg−1) contents in relation to Dietary Reference Intakes.
CONCLUSION: The baru almond has a high nutrient density and high content of quality protein. Furthermore, the lipid and protein contents and amino acid profile of the baru almond are representative of edible seeds and similar to those of true nuts. This almond can be used as a complementary source of protein and as an excellent option for a healthy diet. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry