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Tropentag, October 7 - 9, 2008 in Hohenheim

"Competition for Resources in a Changing World:
New Drive for Rural Development"

Brazil Nut Almonds: Nutritional and Market Aspects

Alcido Elenor Wander1, Rosaura Gazzola2, Carlos Henrique Motta Coelho3, Jussara Gazzola4, Geraldo da Silva e Souza2

1Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), National Rice and Beans Research Center (CNPAF), Brazil
2Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Secretary of Administration and Strategy (SGE), Brazil
3Consultant, Brazil
4Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Center of Health Sciences, Brazil


This paper presents information related to the composition of different fatty acids from brazil nut almonds and the human daily intake needs, as well as an analysis of its production, its growth rate during the last 20 years and its export. Having the Amazon Biome as its origin, brazil nut trees (Bertholletia excelsa H.B.K.) occur in several South American countries, like Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Guyana. The brazil nut trees provide food and timber. Its nuts contain 10 to 25 almonds each, which are used as food mainly in the Amazon region, but are also appreciated around the globe. Its timber is of high value for civil construction as well as for ship construction. The fruit of brazil nut contains high amounts of calories and protein. Additionally, it contains selenium that reduces free radicals, and many studies recommend it for cancer prevention. It is highly consumed by local population in natura, toasted, or in flours, sweets and ice creams. The shell of the brazil nut is very hard and its extraction requires high amount of energy. This nut is of economic importance for most states of the Brazilian Amazon, as 60% of the total production is exported in natura to Europe, Japan and the United States. Domestic consumption is limited to 5% of production. The statistical analysis evidenced a disadvantage of Brazil in the world market. As second world exporter of brazil nut almonds, Brazil has a negative annual growth rate of its exports (-6.01%) while its main competitor Bolivia, who is the first world exporter of brazil nut almonds, has an export growth rate of 8.72%. Considering production, again Brazil is disadvantaged, with a negative annual growth rate of brazil nuts production (-1.28%), while Bolivia's annual growth rate reaches 5.10%.

Keywords: Brazil nut almonds, commercialisation, human nutrition, nut production

Contact Address: Alcido Elenor Wander, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), National Rice and Beans Research Center (CNPAF), Rodovia GO-462, km 12, 75375-000 Santo Antonio de Goias, Brazil, e-mail: awander@cnpaf.embrapa.br

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