Astrocaryum aculeatum

Astrocaryum aculeatum (known in Brazilian Portuguese as tucumã, acaiúra, acuiuru, coco-tucumã, tucum, tucumã-açu, tucumã-macaw, tucum-açu, tucumaí-da-terra-firme, tucumãí-uaçu, tucumã-piririca, tucumã-purupuru or tucumã-do-mato) is a palm native to tropical South America and Trinidad.[1] It grows up to 15 m (49 ft) tall and is usually solitary. It has ascending leaves, erect inflorescence, and yellow fruit.

Astrocaryum aculeatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Astrocaryum
A. aculeatum
Binomial name
Astrocaryum aculeatum

Astrocaryum tucuma Mart.
Astrocaryum aureum Griseb. & H.Wendl. in Griseb.
Astrocaryum candescens Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum princeps Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum jucuma Linden
Astrocaryum princeps var. aurantiacum Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum princeps var. flavum Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum princeps var. sulphureum Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum princeps var. vitellinum Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum manaoense Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum macrocarpum Huber


tucumã derives from tuku'mã in the Tupi language.[2]


Astrocaryum aculeatum was first described by German botanist Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Meyer in 1818 based on a specimen from the Essequibo River in Guyana.[3]


Astrocaryum aculeatum is found in and around the Amazon Basin, from Trinidad and Tobago in the north, through Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, the Brazilian states of Acre, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and south through the Bolivian departments of Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz.[4]


This plant has edible fruit which may be used for making a kind of wine.[5] It is also used to make a symbolic ring called a tucum ring.

A fiber is extracted from the leaves for making hammocks and ropes that resist salt water.[2]


Tucuma oil and fruit

The fruit of tucumã is composed of a woody core almost black in color, containing the white paste of the seed (colloquially called an almond in Brazil) and covered with a yellow-orange pulp. Two types of oils are produced from this fruit: the oil of the external pulp and the almond oil.[6]

The oil extracted from the pulp contains 25.6% saturated fatty acids and 74.4% unsaturated fatty acids composed of palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids. It can be used as an emollient. The value of beta-carotene (which is 180 to 330 milligrams/100g oil) is more concentrated in the oil than in the pulp.[7]

Fatty acid composition of the oil Tucumã (Pulp)


Cosmetic industry

The tucuma pulp oil could in the future be used to manufacture soap, body lotions or hair care products.[7]

Physico-chemical data

IndexUnityReference values
Free fatty acids%1.4562
Refractive Index-1.4562
Index of Iodinegl2 / 100g82
Saponification valuemg KOH / g188.4
Materia unsaponifiable %1,4
AciditymgKOH / g2.58
Index of Peroxidemeq / kg1.72
Densityg / L0.982


  1. Astrocaryum aculeatum Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.
  2. Ferreira, A. B. H. Novo dicionário da língua portuguesa. Segunda edição. Rio de Janeiro. Nova Fronteira. 1986. p. 1724, 1725
  3. Bernal, Rodrigo (2008). "(1837) Proposal to conserve the name Astrocaryum aculeatum (Palmae) with a conserved type". Taxon. 57 (3): 997–998. no
  4. Kahn, Francis (2008). "The genus Astrocaryum (Arecaceae)" (PDF). Revista Peruvana de Biología. 15 (supl. 1): 31–48. ISSN 1727-9933. no
  5. Calvacante, P. B.: Frutas Comestíveis da Amazônia, 1996, 6a Ed , Edições Cejup - Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém.
  6. Pesce, Celestino. Oleaginosas da Amazônia. –Belém: Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, 2009.
  7. Bora, P. S. et al.: Characterization of the oil and protein fractions of tucuma (Astrocaryum vulgare Mart) fruit. 2001, Ciencia y Technologia Alimentaria, Ourense, Espanha, v. 3, n. 2, p. 111-116.
  8. Morais, L. : Banco de Dados Sobre Espécies Oleaginosas da Amazônia, unpublished and unavailable online.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.