- The word "jaboticaba" is derived from the Tupi word, jaboti, for turtle, or "like turtle fat", descriptive of the fruit pulp. (3)
- Cauliflora is from cauliflorous, meaning the fruit and flowers grow directly on the bark or underbark along the trunk, limbs, and branches.
Jaboticaba is a slow growing shrubby ornamental evergreen shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 4-12 meters. Branches emerge close from the ground, spreading to a wide, dense, round, and symmetrical crown. Flowers and fruits form low in the trunk and branches. Flowers are small, staminous, white, and cauliflorous. Fruits are globose, bright green when immature to dark purple or shiny black when fully ripe. The pulp is translucent white to light pink surrounding 1 to 5 round or flat light brown seeds.
- Seeds were send from Washington to the Philippines in 1924, possibly the Mineira variety that was introduced into California in 1904. (3)
- Native to the Brazil.
- Nutrient analysis of jaboticaba fruits per 100 g yielded: calories 45-7-51.7 units, water 87.1 g, protein 0.11-0.32 g, fat <0.01 g, carbohydrate 12.58 g, ash 0.2g, calcium 6.3-7.6 mg, phosphorus 9.2-34.6 mg, iron 0.49-0.87 mg, potassium 13.2 mg, vitamin B1 0.04 mg, vitamin B2 0.09 mg, niacin 1.3 mg, fiber 0.08 mg, riboflavin 0.02 mg, tryptophan 1.0 mg, lysine 7.0 mg, ascorbic acid 17.7-238 mg, total anthocyanins 58.1-315 mg, total phenolics 460.9 mg, total carotenoids 0.32 mg. Sources: Lorenzi et al. (2000), Morton (1987), Rufino et al. (2011), Rufino et al. (2010) and Assis et al. (2009). (5)
- Freeze-dried jaboticaba peel showed to be a rich source of polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, anthocyanins and dietary fibers. Studies have also identified ellagic acid, gallic acid, tannins, quercetin derivatives, and anthocyanins. (10)
- Study of fruits isolated a new ellagitannin, cauliflorin (1), seven known hydrolyzable tannins (2-8), and six known phenolics (9-14). (see study below) (11)
- Mineral analysis of fruit peel of M. cauliflora yielded (mg/g dry weight): K 1.060, P 0.377, Ca 0.113, Mg 0.065, Fe 0.032, Zn 0.026, Cu 0.014, and Mn 0.009. (13)
- Study of seed extract for ellagitannin components yielded
castalagin, vescalagin, and pedunculagin as main compounds (124.4, 45.5 and 15.6 mg/g dw, respectively). (see study below) (15)
- Caution: Regular high and prolonged consumption of the skin should be avoided because of high tannin content. Tannin is antinutrient and carcinogenic if intake is frequent over a long period of time.
- Studies have shown hypotensive, vasorelaxant, antifungal, antibacterial, hypolipidemic, blood glucose lowering, antiproliferative, antioxidant, nephroprotective properties.
- Fruit are edible, usually eaten out-of-hand. Squeezing the fruit between thumb and forefinger causes it to split and the pulp slipping into the mouth. (3)
- Fruit used for making jelly and marmalade; juice used for making beverage. Aborigines made wine of the jaboticabas. (3)
- In Brazil, astringent decoction of sun-dried skins used for treatment of hemoptysis, asthma, diarrhea and dysentery. Also used as gargle for chronic tonsillar inflammation. (see caution) (3)
- Dye: Extracts used as natural dye in food coloring.
• Vasorelaxant / Hypotensive / Fruit: Study evaluated the effect of hydroalcoholic extract of M. cauliflora on vascular tension and blood pressure in rats. Results suggest extract infusion produced hypotension and increased aortic blood flow with no changes in heart rate. The NEMC induces endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation. The NO/sGC/cGMP pathway may be the main cellular route involved in the vascular responsiveness. (4)
Volatile Constituents and Odorants / Fruits: Analysis of fruits for volatile flavor compounds yielded 23 components imparting a sensory impression. Major volatile compounds were terpenes, organic acids, and alcohols. Aroma extract dilution analysis showed the ß-pinene, δ-cadinene,2-phenylethanol, and linalool were the most potent odorants of jabuticaba fruits. (6)
• Hypolipidemic / Peel Flour: Study evaluated the hypolipidemic effects of Myrciaria cauliflora peel flour in rats. Results showed a hypolipidemic potential, especially in reducing serum cholesterol and triglycerides. Activity was attributed, at least in part, to the fiber and phenolic composition. (7)
• Antioxidant Polyphenols / Effects on Glucose Metabolism / Peel: Study evaluated the polyphenol profile and contribution to antioxidant capacity of jaboticaba peel. A single-blind placebo-controlled crossover study investigated the effect of jaboticaba peel on antioxidant and glucose parameters. Serum antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in subjects who consumed the test meal containing jaboticaba. Serum insulin decreased subsequent to the second meal. (see constituents above) (8)
• Cosmetic Application / Antioxidant / Peels: Study evaluated the phytochemical profile of jaboticaba peel extracts for incorportation into emulsions, targeting production of cosmetic formulations. A hydroglycolic extract (HGE) was shown to be thermodynamically stable, with higher total phenolic content, and greater antioxidant capacity by FRAP assay. DPPH assay showed the higher the concentration of the formulation , the better the antioxidant activity. The HGE was shown to be more suitable for cosmetic formulation. (9)
• Effect on Blood Glucose and Cholesterol Levels / Peel: Study evaluated the effect of freeze-dried jaboticaba peels (FJP) on plasma glucose, lipid fractions, ALT and AST in adult Wistar rats. FJP supplementation caused a reduction in plasmatic glucose, total triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. No significant changes were seen on ALT and AST (10)
• Polyphenols and Ellagitannnins / Chemical Variability at Different Stages: Content of ellagitannins and organic acids declined during fruit development. At full ripeness, there was a sharp increase of sugar and anthocyanin levels. Ellagitannins varied among fruit tissues, with pedunculagin (3), castalagin (7) and vescalagin (8) most concentrated in seeds, with cauliflorin (1) and anthocyanins higher in the peels. Phenolic compounds varied mostly by fruit part rather than degree of ripeness. (see constituents above) (11)
• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative / Human Oral Carcinoma Cell Lines / Seeds: Study evaluated extracts from different parts of jaboticaba for antiproliferative activity against human oral carcinoma cell lines. Water extract of seed showed the best scavenging activity compared to other parts of the plant. Water extract of seeds showed concentration-dependent antiproliferative effects via induction of apoptosis through downregulation of survivin expression and activation of caspase-mediated Bid cleavage. (12)
• Total Antioxidant Capacity / Fruit Peel: Fruit peel of M. cauliflora was evaluated for antioxidant capacity using different analytical methods: DPPH (EC50 g/g) 3.18 ± 0.01; ABTS (µmol Trolox/g) 1017.80 ± 0.04; and FRAP (µmol Fe2SO4/g) 1676.80 ± 0.02. (see constituents above) (13)
• Antibacterial / Toxicity Study / Leaves and Fruits: Study evaluated methanol extracts of leaves and fruit for antimicrobial activity and toxicity in vitro. Leaf extract inhibited 9 of 14 (64%) tested while the fruit extract inhibited 11 of 14 (79%) of bacteria tested. The leaf extract displayed toxicity towards Artemia franciscana, a toxicity that correlates well with toxicity towards human cells for some toxins. (14)
Protective Effect and Induction of DNA Repair / Cyclophosphamide-Induced Genotoxicity / Seed: Study evaluated the protective effects of jaboticaba seed extract and pedunculagin using in vivo micronucleus test and comet assay in mouse bone marrow cells, in combination with cyclophosphamide (CP), a bioreductive, alkylating agent. Results showed protective action against CP-induced micronuclei and DNA damage. Results suggest that JSE and pedunculagin possess chemopreventive and DNA repair-inducing properties. (see constituents above) (15)
• Attenuation of Hyperlipidemia and Obesity: Study evaluated the chemopreventive effect of M. cauliflora water extract on male Wistar rat with obesity induced by lard oil for 10 weeks. Results demonstrated MCE prevented high-fat diet-induced high cholesterol and excess body fat, suggesting a potentially protective effect in obesity-related and cardiovascular diseases. (16)
• Attenuation of Diabetic Nephropathy: Study evaluated the effect of M. cauliflora extracts on progression of diabetic nephropathy in type 2 diabetes mellitus mice. The MCE stabilized the plasma glucose and indirectly improved in diabetic mice, In addition, diabetes-caused glomerular atrophy, accumulation of saccharide, and formation of collagen IV were recovered or reduced with treatment with MCE in diabetic mice. Results showed a beneficial effect in diabetic neuropathy through inhibition of Ras/P13K/Akt and kidney fibrosis related to proteins. Study suggests the potential of MC extract rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols as natural food that can inhibit diabetic neuropathy. (17)
• Metabolite Profiling / Fruit: Study of fruits for phenolic contents by high performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry yielded 22 compounds. Eleven compounds including seven gallotanins, two ellagic acid derivatives, syringin and its glycoside were detected from the fruit for the first time. Two anthocyanins and two depsides present in the fruit extract were not detected in commercial jaboticaba juice and jam. (18)
• Toxicity to Spodoptera frugiperda / Phenolics from Fruit Skins: Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda is the main pest of maize.
The extract of jabuticabeira from fruit skin flour was found to be harmful to the insect with 150% increase in mortality in the larval stage. Activity is probably due to its content phenolic compounds viz., gallic acid, gallocatechin, catechin, epicatechin, ellagic acid and salicylic acid. (19)
• Antifungal / Oral Microorganisms / Leaves and Bark: Study of extracts of bark and leaves of Myrciaria cauliflora showed antifungal activity on Candida albicans, C. krusei, C. guilliermondii. (20)
• Endothelium-Independent Vasodilating Effect on Isolated Arteries: Study evaluated the effects of jabuticaba hydroalcoholic extract on vascular smooth muscle of isolated arteries. The JHE induced endothelium-independent vasodilation. Activation of K+ channels and inhibition of Ca2++ influx through the membrane were involved in the JHE relaxant effect. (21)
• Use as Natural Dye: Study evaluated the addition of microencapsulated jabuticaba extract (MJE) to fresh sausage as natural dye with antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Results showed lower TBARS values with lower microbial counts on storage. The 2% MJE presented similar (p<0.05) sensory acceptance to control and carmine treatment in most attributes except for decrease in color. Results suggest 2% MJE can be considered a natural pigment ingredient to fresh sausage. (22)
• Improved Insulin Sensitivity / Peel Powder: Study
evaluated the effects of freeze-dried jaboticaba peel powder on a number of metabolic parameters in a model of diet-induced obesity. The peel powder exerted no protective effect on induced weight gain, hyperlipidemia and glucose intolerance. However, the supplementation was effective in reducing insulin resistance, confirmed by improved signal transduction through the insulin receptor/insulin receptor substrate-1/Akt/forkhead box protein pathway and by attenuation of HFD-induced inflammation in the liver. Results suggest potential role for the fruit powder against obesity-associated insulin resistance. (23)