Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Promoting Latin American health products in Europe

New knowledge emerging from tropical reaches of Latin America indicates significant commercial potential for several fruit crops. Local and European scientists are collaborating to deliver the beneficial phytochemicals to health-conscious consumers across the globe.
Promoting Latin American health products in Europe
Latin America is home to some of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world. It is no surprise then that many products from these ecosystems are rich in antioxidants and other desirable phytochemicals. What is intriguing is how little the rest of the world knows about this.

Research centres in the region combined forces with their counterparts in the EU to study the value of local products and promote them through the EU-funded project 'Producing added value from under-utilised tropical fruit crops with high commercial potential' (Pavuc).

Nine fruits from three climatic regions were selected for the study. The first objective was to quantify the potential health benefits of each fruit, such as their carotenoid, phenol compound and betacyanin content. A new technique was also developed and implemented to measure antioxidant activity in the particular fruits.

Importantly, this characterisation was repeated at different stages of harvesting as well as after processing procedures like heating to provide a more complete picture. Based on the research results, recommendations were made to local producers on how to best preserve the health benefits that consumers are interested in.

Pavuc participants also worked closely with local stakeholders looking to extend their customer base beyond national borders. For instance, processed highland blackberries and acaipalm berries can be used in health drinks popular in Europe.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top