Effect of processing on the preservation of bioactive compounds in traditional and exotic fruits: A review
Bioactives are natural substances that may function as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticarcinogenic agents. They include phenolic compounds, carotenoids, and vitamins that can exert health-promoting effects. Conventional fruit processing (e.g., heat treatment) can negatively affect the content and possibly the integrity of bioactives in the source material. Meanwhile, non-conventional techniques, such as high pressure processing and pulsed electric field, may increase the extractability of bioactives from the food matrix and enhance their availability for intestinal absorption. Although berries are usually perceived as outstanding sources of antioxidants, other conventional fruits also stand out, such as apple, banana, grape, mango, and orange. Nevertheless, exotic fruits, such as Buriti, mamey, açaí, pitanga, camapu, and tucumã are less frequently consumed, even though they can provide relevant bioactives. Additionally, fruit processing generates by-products containing high-value bioactives that can re-enter the industry cycle while minimizing the quantity of waste generated. Future studies should further examine the potential of exotic fruits using their discarded portions. Thus, identifying the best techniques for their use and maximum phytochemical extraction would be essential to reducing their environmental impact. Additionally, novel functional foods and nutraceuticals can be obtained by exploring the bioactive potential of these feedstocks and their processing discards.