PHYSICAL-CHEMICAL DATA AND APPLICATIONS
The passion fruit oil (Passiflora edulis) is distinguished by a high concentration of omega-6 (linoleic acid up to 70%), which provides the replacement of essential fatty acids, which helps to reduce the transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
The unsaponifiable matter includes flavonoids that are known to have sebum-regulating properties without decreasing it too deeply, as this triggers the rebound effect with increased fat production. Passiflorine and maracujine show a soothing effect on the skin.
The passionfruit oil is highly recommended in scalp and hair care products to encourage healthy hair growth and increased vitality and contributes to volume and lightness; helps to reduce high levels of oily scalp.
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 passiflorine, a natural sedative, and tea prepared with leaves that have a diuretic effect. It also shows purgative, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties. The seeds act as anthelminthic. 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 lasts 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.
MALACRIDA, C. R. et al (2012): Yellow passion fruit seed oil (Passiflora edulis f.flavicarpa): physical and chemical characteristics; Braz. arch. biol. technol. vol.55 no.1 Curitiba Jan./Feb. 2012. http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-89132012000100016 .