Some chemical and nutritional characteristics of the rubber seed Hevea brasiliensis were studied. The protein content, its amino acid composition as well as the iron, calcium, phosphorus and cyanide (free and bound) concentrations, were determined in the dehulled seed. The effect of soaking, cooking, soaking-cooking and cooking-fat extraction procedure of the seed on the cyanide content and its in vivo protein utilization, was also evaluated. The protein quality was biologically assessed using the protein efficiency ratio (PER). The protein content of the seed was 18%, and the most limiting amino acid was threonine, with a chemical score of 71.6. The iron, calcium and phosphorus contents were 6.2, 109 and 429 mg/100 g, respectively. Its fat content was 48% with a total energy value of 702 kcal/100 g (2,948 Kj/100 g). The total cyanide content in the fresh seed was 130-230 mg/100 g; 6% was in the free form and 94% as bound cyanide. The most effective treatment for reducing the cyanide content was found to be 20 hours of soaking in water, combined with one hour of cooking. The raw seed had a low nutritive value and produced weight loss and death when fed to rats. The protein value, however, improved upon the seed treatment, reaching PER values close to those found in traditional cereals such as corn. It is therefore concluded that the seed of Hevea brasiliensis is a good source of energy, calcium, valine, isoleucine, phenylalanine and tyrosine. In contrast, it is a poor source of threonine, leucine and lysine. Its cyanide content is high, but when removed by treatment, such as soaking in water, cooking or fat extraction, the protein utilization can be improved.
|Translated title of the contribution||Evaluation of chemical and nutritional characteristics of the seed of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis)|
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion|
|State||Published - Dec 1983|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics