Thursday, 13 November 2014

Banana (Musa spp) from peel to pulp: Ethnopharmacology, source of bioactive compounds and its relevance for Human health


Banana (Musa spp) from peel to pulp: Ethnopharmacology, source of bioactive compounds and its relevance for Human health

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Ethnopharmacological relevance

Banana is a fruit with nutritional properties, buth also with acclaimed therapeutic uses, cultivated widely throughout the tropics as source of food and income for people. Banana peel is known by its local and traditional use to promote wound healing mainly from burns and to help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses, as depression.

Aim of the study

This review critically assessed the phytochemical properties and biological activities of Musa spp fruit pulp and peel.

Materials and methods

A survey on the literature on banana (Musa spp, Musaceae) covering its botanical classification and nomenclature, as well as the local and traditional use of its pulp and peel was performed. Besides, the current state of art on banana fruit pulp and peel as interesting complex matrices sources of high-value compounds from secondary metabolism was also approached.


Dessert bananas and plantains are systematic classified into four sections, Eumusa, Rhodochlamys, Australimusa, and Callimusa, according to the number of chromosomes. The fruits differ only in their ploidy arrangement and a single scientific name can be given to all the edible bananas, i.e., Musa spp. The chemical composition of banana´s peel and pulp comprise mostly carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and biogenic amines. The biological potential of those biomasses is directly related to their chemical composition, particularly as pro-vitamin A supplementation, as potential antioxidants attributed to their phenolic constituents, as well as in the treatment of Parkinson's disease considering their contents in L-dopa and dopamine.


Banana's pulp and peel can be used as natural sources of antioxidants and pro-vitamin A due to their contents in carotenoids, phenolics, and amine compounds, for instance. For the development of a phytomedicine or even an allopathic medicine, e.g., banana fruit pulp and peel could be of interest as raw materials riches in beneficial bioactive compounds.

Graphical abstract

Full-size image (19 K)


  • Musa spp
  • banana
  • banana peel
  • bioactive compounds
  • phytochemistry
  • metabolomics
  • botany;
  • Parkinson's disease
Correspondence to Plant Morphogenesis and Biochemistry Laboratory Federal University of Santa Catarina Florianopolis-Santa Catarina-Brazil Tel.: 55-48-3721–5328/5442; Fax: 55-48-3721–5335
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