PASSION FRUIT-Oil - (Passiflora edulis, Passifloraceae)
FATTY ACID COMPOSITION AND PHYSICAL-CHEMICAL DATA
Passion fruit oil is yellow, has a pleasant taste and odor, and has a high content of unsaturated fatty acids. It has a relaxing aromatic substance (passiflorin) that reduces anxiety, improves sleep, and reduces stress and fatigue. Passion fruit oil is rich in linoleic acid, which acts to aid in the restoration of the lipid layer of the skin and provides moisturizing and emollient properties that increase the silkiness of the skin. The creams and soaps, which include this oil, derived from the seeds of the passion fruit, provide a relaxing and anti-stress sensation.
Passion fruits are primarily used for food, in the form of juices, jams, jellies, ice cream and liqueurs. It is known for its sedative property, but its attractive aroma and flavor make the passion fruit an important product for the industry. The leaves and juice contain passiflorin, a natural sedative, and tea prepared with leaves has a diuretic effect. It also shows purgative, sedative and anti-inflammatory properties. The seeds act as antihelminthics. Due to these characteristics, it is included in the monograph of the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia. It is popularly believed that the tea leaves, besides acting as a sedative, are also an effective antipyretic and help to treat skin inflammation, but these two uses are based on popular beliefs and have not been scientifically proven to work.
The passion fruit originated in tropical America, prefers hot and humid climates and is cultivated in all tropical countries. Currently Brazil is the world's leading producer of passion fruits. In the state of Pará, there is a long tradition of cultivating passion fruit, especially in the Bragança region, where 33,000 tons of fruit were produced in 2008.
Passion fruits are climbing plants that need a support structure to grow on, because the stems of this plant are semi-woody and do not allow it to stand on its own. The support structure for passion fruit is built with wooden stakes and smooth wire. A good support system allows the branches to have enough space to grow, which allows productive branches to receive the proper amount of light. Commercial production starts ten months after planting. The yield of yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) is estimated to be approximately 10 tons/ha/year. The production cycle usually last about 2 to 3 years.
The peel of passion fruit, which represents 40% to 50% of the fruit weight, is considered industrial waste, as well as the seeds, which represent about 6% to 12% of the total fruit weight. Oil can be extracted from the seeds for industrial use. The oil yield from the dry seeds of passion fruit reaches about 25%. One hectare can produce approximately 480 kg of dry seed, which equals 96 kg of oil when using cold extraction.
CALVACANTE, P. B. (1996): Frutas comestíveis da Amazônia, 6ª edição, CNPq/Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém/PA, p. 279.
http://www.sidra.ibge.gov.br (acessed on 11/11/2009)
MORAIS, L. R. Banco de Dados Sobre Espécies Oleaginosas da Amazônia, não-publicado
TOCCHINI, R. P. (1994): Processamento: produtos, caracterização e utilização. In: Maracujá: cultura, matéria-prima e aspectos econômicos. Campinas: ITAL, p. 161-175.