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Title: Free amino acid profiles of Caryota urens L. (Kithul palm) sap, treacle and jaggery
Authors: Somasiri, H.P.P.S.
Premakumara, G.A.S.
Mahanama, K.R.R.
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Annual Research Symposium
Abstract: The sap of Caryota urens commonly referred to as Kithul palm is very rich in simple sugars and therefore used to manufacture treacle and jaggery that are used as substitutes for sugar and sweeteners (Thevendirarajah et al 1977). All these products have a very high demand due to their natural origin, and as an almost organic food product. However, these products are highly priced due to the scarcity in production and are of high demand due to the uniqueness in taste and aroma, as well as due to traditional claims on health benefits. It is traditionally considered that the products of C. urens have anti-diabetic, anti-ageing and anti- rheumatic properties. Recent scientific investigation has shown that sap and treacle of C. urens have -glucosidase inhibition activity and thus proves that traditional claims on anti-diabetic properties are correct indeed (Ranasinghe et al 2010). However, scientific validation of the folkloric claims or the identification of the chemical constituent responsible for these properties has not been attempted so far. Some of the amino acids from C. urens products may be the responsible chemical components for biological activities as amino acids have a variety of roles in metabolism, as building blocks of proteins, growth factors, metabolic regulators, secondary messengers and nutrients. Thus, analysis of amino acids is essential for metabolic studies. The main objective of this study was the determination and comparison of the free amino acid profiles of C. urens sap, treacle and jaggery and to find out the relationship of amino acid profiles and the traditional claims on health benefits of these products.
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