2018, Vol. 2 Issue 2, Part APages: 05-09
Nutritional and health benefits of apricots
Tabasum Fatima, Omar Bashir, Gousia Gani, Tashooq A Bhat and Nusrat Jan
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Advances in food and nutrition have shifted the consumer preferences towards functional and nutraceutical rich foods. In addition to natural antioxidant defence system, there are external sources furnished via diet to quench free radicals and reactive oxygen species produced in the biological systems. Apricot occupies a distinct position among stone fruits due to its multifaceted compositional contour and significant functional potentials. It has a rich nutritional content in terms of sugars (more than 60%) proteins (8%), crude fiber (11.50%), crude fat (2%), total minerals (4%), vitamins (vitamin A, C, K and B complex) and reasonable quantities of organic acids (citric acid and malic acid) on dry weight basis. Literature reports that there are appreciable amounts of total phenolic compounds and flavonoids in the fruit which make them more valuable as functional food. The fruit has a great market value as fresh and dried food commodity and has the highest market share of agricultural income. The plant is reported to contain polysaccharides, polyphenol, fatty acid, sterol derivatives, carotenoids, cynogenic glycosides and volatile component. In very small amounts, the hydrogen cyanide present in apricot kernels has been traditionally prescribed in Chinese medicine for treating asthma, cough, and constipation. Owing to its bioactive components of pharmacological importance, it has been found effective against chronic gastritis, oxidative intestinal damage, hepatic steatosis, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and tumor formation. The present review is an attempt to collect and disseminate available information regarding nutritional and health potentials in apricot for the benefit of researchers, consumers and other stakeholders.