Nutritional values of edible chestnuts (Castanea species) – a short comparative review

Authors:

Laureanţiu-Răzvan Drăghici, Daniel Ioan Hădărugă, Bianca Bădoiu, Cristina Mitroi, Ioan David, Adrian Rivis, Claudia Elena Petrea, Nicoleta Gabriela Hădărugă


Volume 27, Issue 4S;
Pages: 553-564; 2021
ISSN: 2069-0053 (print) (former ISSN: 1453-1399), Agroprint;
ISSN (online): 2068-9551

Abstract:

Chestnuts are valuable nuts (fruits) of the trees from Castanea species, especially C. sativa (European chestnut), as well as C. pumila from North America, C. mollissima or C. crenata from Asia. In this short review a comparison on the main nutritional components of various edible chestnuts is presented. Thus, the chemical composition including lipids, proteins, carbohydrates/starch, ash, minerals and caloric contents are discussed for the main chestnut species, including the content of biologically active compounds (antioxidants or vitamins) in various parts of the fruit or tree. An important part of the review is focused on the fatty acid profile and triglyceride composition of the most consumed nuts from Castanea species, i.e. C. sativa, C. mollissima, C. pumila and C. dentata. The influence on various processing, handling and storage parameters on the composition of chestnuts was also discussed.

The review reveals the importance of the edible chestnuts as valuable foods. They have high content of starch, but also important contents of biologically active compounds such as polyphenols, antioxidant vitamins C and E, potassium and phosphorus. Moreover, the lipid fraction of chestnuts is rich in oleic acid, as well as α-linolenic acid, an omega-3 acid. These characteristics make chestnuts valuable, but also a healthy source of nutrition for the consumer, and more attention should be paid to their use as healthy foods.

Chestnuts are valuable nuts (fruits) of the trees from Castanea species, especially C. sativa (European chestnut), as well as C. pumila from North America, C. mollissima or C. crenata from Asia. In this short review a comparison on the main nutritional components of various edible chestnuts is presented. Thus, the chemical composition including lipids, proteins, carbohydrates/starch, ash, minerals and caloric contents are discussed for the main chestnut species, including the content of biologically active compounds (antioxidants or vitamins) in various parts of the fruit or tree. An important part of the review is focused on the fatty acid profile and triglyceride composition of the most consumed nuts from Castanea species, i.e. C. sativa, C. mollissima, C. pumila and C. dentata. The influence on various processing, handling and storage parameters on the composition of chestnuts was also discussed.

The review reveals the importance of the edible chestnuts as valuable foods. They have high content of starch, but also important contents of biologically active compounds such as polyphenols, antioxidant vitamins C and E, potassium and phosphorus. Moreover, the lipid fraction of chestnuts is rich in oleic acid, as well as α-linolenic acid, an omega-3 acid. These characteristics make chestnuts valuable, but also a healthy source of nutrition for the consumer, and more attention should be paid to their use as healthy foods.

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