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Lab. Vitam. Anal., Nutr. Health Dep., Fed. Univ. Viçosa, PH Rolfs Avenue, Viçosa, 36571-000, Minas Gerais, Brazil,

The Cerrado is a Brazilian biome that has a large plant heterogeneity. Among the fruit species of the Cerrado, the tamarind stands out due to its economic potential and use in human feeding. Our study evaluated the physical and physicochemical characteristics, and occurrence and content of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin E and folates in tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) from the Cerrado of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Materials andmethods. The length, diameter, mass and fruit yield of tamarind were evaluated. Titratable acidity was determined by volumetric neutralization, pH by potentiometry, soluble solids by refractometry, moisture using an oven, ash using a muffle furnace, protein by the micro-Kjeldhal method, total dietary fiber by the gravimetric non-enzymatic method, and lipids with a Soxhlet extractor. Vitamin C and carotenoids were analyzed by HPLC-DAD, and vitamin E and folates by HPLC with fluorescence detection. Results and discussion. Tamarind pulp is composed mainly of carbohydrates (50.07 g·100 g–1) and moisture (35.29 g·100 g–1); it can be considered a good source of dietary fiber (4.13 g·100 g–1). The pH, titratable acidity and soluble solids are 2.95, 18.52 g tartaric acid·100 g–1 and 44.00 °Brix, respectively. Contents of vitamin C (4.79 mg·100 g–1) and folates (59.35 µg·100 g–1) in the tamarind are higher than those observed in traditional fruits. However, the fruit presents low vitamin E content (108.78 µg·100 g–1). Conclusion. The tamarind stands out due to its nutritional value, being a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, and an excellent source of folates.