Potential New Oil Crops for Edible and Non-Edible Purposes in Brazil
Débora Madeira1, Kacilda Kuki1, Sérgio Motoike1, Thomas Hilger2, Georg Cadisch2
1Federal University of Vicosa, Department of Plant Science, Brazil
In the current scenario of increasing demand for vegetable oils and fats, the diversification of oil-bearing species for commercial planting is a wise and necessary strategy. This action makes possible: (i) the reduction of the world´s dependency on the prevailing traditional oil crops; (ii) the sustainable development of new markets for non-food products, without affecting the food security of the global population, and (iii) the selection of oil crops adapted to the region of choice, reducing costs and environmental risks. The native Brazilian flora holds great biodiversity, with numerous oleaginous species. We present four marginal species, for their great potential for agricultural exploitation, rusticity, productivity and food and industrial aspects of their oils. Acrocomia sp. and Syagrus coronata are two palm species; the first one, with a broad geographic distribution, occupies mainly savannah and forest areas of the Southeast and Midwest of Brazil, while the latter populates especially the semi-arid regions of Southeast and Northeast Brazil. The fruits of Acrocomia sp. produce two types of oils: the pulp oil, rich in oleic acid and that of the kernel, rich in lauric acid. Estimates show that this palm can produce >5.0 t ha-1 of oil intended for food or non-food industry. The kernel of S. coronata contains oil composed of medium chain saturated fatty acids, and is suitable for human consumption because of its nutritional and organoleptic qualities. Mabea fistulifera is conspicuous in the Brazilian territory, colonizing degraded areas of Atlantic Forest, Cerrado and transition regions. The oil extracted from its seed, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, has applicability in the oil-chemical industry for the synthesis of polyols and polyurethanes. In the same way, the Licania rigida seed is an oil source for the paint, sealant and drying-oil industry, containing 70% of lycanic acid. The oils of the four species can still be used in the pharmaceutical and renewable energy industries. Domestication is the first challenge for a sustainable and economically viable exploitation of these species, and the current Acrocomia sp. breeding programme can be used as a base model.
Keywords: Biodiversity, domestication, minor crops, potentials
Contact Address: Sérgio Motoike, Federal Univerity of Viçosa, Department of Plant Science, Rua Claudio Manoel470, 36576-298 Viçosa, Brazil, e-mail: sergiomotoikegmail.com