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Encyclopedia > Brazil nut
Brazil nut

Brazil nut fruit
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ericales
Family: Lecythidaceae
Genus: Bertholletia
Species: B. excelsa
Binomial name
Bertholletia excelsa
Humb. & Bonpl.

The Brazil nut is a South American tree Bertholletia excelsa in the family Lecythidaceae, and also the name of the tree's commercially harvested edible seeds. Brazil nut fruit - NASA photo [1] File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn2. ... This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. ... Magnoliopsida is the botanical name for a class of flowering plants. ... Families See text. ... Genera Abdulmajidia Allantoma Barringtonia Bertholletia Careya Cariniana Couratari Couroupita Foetidia Grias Gustavia Lecythis Napoleonaea The Lecythidaceae is a family of about 20 genera and 250-300 species woody plants native to tropical South America and Madagascar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... An 1859 portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by the artist Julius Schrader, showing Mount Chimborazo in the background. ... Aimé Jacques Alexandre Bonpland (August 22, 1773 - May 4, 1858) was a French explorer and botanist. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... The coniferous Coast Redwood, the tallest tree species on earth. ... Genera Abdulmajidia Allantoma Barringtonia Bertholletia Careya Cariniana Couratari Couroupita Foetidia Grias Gustavia Lecythis Napoleonaea The Lecythidaceae is a family of about 20 genera and 250-300 species woody plants native to tropical South America and Madagascar. ...

The Brazil nut tree is the only species in the genus Bertholletia. It is native to the Guianas, Venezuela, Brazil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru and eastern Bolivia. It occurs as scattered trees in large forests on the banks of the Amazon, Rio Negro, and the Orinoco. The genus is named after the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet. The term Guianas refers to an area comprising three different countries in the north-eastern part of South America; Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname. ... This article is about the river. ... The Negro (Spanish: black) River, the great northern tributary of the Amazon River and the largest blackwater river in the world, has its sources along the watershed between the Orinoco and the Amazon basins, and also connects with the Orinoco by way of the Casiquiare canal. ... For other uses, see Orinoco (disambiguation). ... Claude Louis Berthollet. ...

It is a large tree, reaching 30–45 m (100–150 ft) tall and 1–2 m (3–6.5 ft) trunk diameter, among the largest of trees in the Amazon Rainforests. It may live for 500 years or more, and according to some authorities often reaches an age of 1,000 years.[1] Map of the Amazon rainforest ecoregions as delineated by the WWF. Yellow line encloses the Amazon rainforest. ...

The stem is straight and commonly unbranched for well over half the tree's height, with a large emergent crown of long branches above the surrounding canopy of other trees. The bark is grayish and smooth.

The leaves are dry-season deciduous, alternate, simple, entire or crenate, oblong, 20–35 cm long and 10–15 cm broad. The flowers are small, greenish-white, in panicles 5–10 cm long; each flower has a two-parted, deciduous calyx, six unequal cream-colored petals, and numerous stamens united into a broad, hood-shaped mass. Look up foliage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Deciduous forest after leaf fall Like many deciduous plants, Forsythia flowers during the leafless season For other uses, see Deciduous (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Flower (disambiguation). ...



Brazil nuts only produce fruit in virgin forests (forests not previously disturbed by human activity), as forests that are not virgin usually lack an orchid that is indirectly responsible for the pollination of the flowers. The Brazil nut tree's yellow flowers can only be pollinated by an insect strong enough to lift the coiled hood on the flower and with tongues long enough to negotiate the complex coiled flower. The orchids produce a scent that attracts small male long-tongued orchid bees (Euglossa spp), as the male bees need that scent to attract females. The large female long-tongued orchid bee pollinates the Brazil nut tree. Without the orchid, the bees cannot mate, and therefore the lack of bees means the fruit do not get pollinated. Old growth forest, also called primary forest, ancient forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, frontier forest or ancient woodland (in the UK), is an area of forest that has attained great age and so exhibits unique biological features. ... Orchid re-directs here; for alternate uses see Orchid (disambiguation) Genera Over 800 See List of Orchidaceae genera. ... Genera Aglae Euglossa Eulaema Eufriesea Exaerete Euglossine bees, also called orchid bees, are the only group of corbiculate bees which do not all possess eusocial behavior. ...

If both the orchids and the bees are present, the fruit takes 14 months to mature after pollination of the flowers, and is a large capsule 10–15 cm diameter resembling a coconut endocarp in size and weighing up to 2 kg. It has a hard, woody shell 8–12 mm thick, and inside contains 8–24 triangular seeds 4–5 cm long (Brazil nuts) packed like the segments of an orange; it is not a true nut in the botanical sense. For other uses, see Fruit (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Coconut (disambiguation). ... Endocarp is the hard inner layer of the pericarp of some fruits that contains the seed. ... Species & major hybrids Species Citrus aurantifolia - Key lime Citrus maxima - Pomelo Citrus medica - Citron Citrus reticulata - Mandarin & Tangerine Major hybrids Citrus ×sinensis - Sweet Orange Citrus ×aurantium - Bitter Orange Citrus ×paradisi - Grapefruit Citrus ×limon - Lemon Citrus ×limonia - Rangpur lime Citrus ×latifolia - Persian lime See also main text for other hybrids Citrus... For other uses, see Nut (disambiguation). ...

The capsule contains a small hole at one end, which enables large rodents like the Agouti to gnaw open the capsule. They then eat some of the nuts inside while burying others for later use; some of these are able to germinate to produce new Brazil nut trees. Most of the seeds are "planted" by the Agoutis in shady places, and the young saplings may have to wait years, in a state of dormancy, for a tree to fall and sunlight to reach it. It is not until then that it starts growing again. Capuchin monkeys have been reported to open Brazil nuts using a stone as an anvil. Suborders Sciuromorpha Castorimorpha Myomorpha Anomaluromorpha Hystricomorpha Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously-growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing. ... Common Agoutis Categories: Stub ... This article is about the biological organisms known as trees. ... Type species Simia capucina Linnaeus, 1758 Species Cebus capucinus Cebus albifrons Weeper uolivaceus Cebus kaapori Cebus apella Cebus libidinosus Cebus nigritus Cebus xanthosternos Cebus queirozi Tufted Capuchin (Cebus apella) The capuchins are the group of New World monkeys classified as genus Cebus. ...


Brazil nuts

Despite their name, the most significant exporter of Brazil nuts is not Brazil but Bolivia, where they are called almendras. In Brazil these nuts are called castanhas-do-Pará (literally "chestnuts from Pará"), but Acreans call them castanhas-do-Acre instead. Indigenous names include juvia in the Orinoco area, and sapucaia in Brazil. And, though it has largely fallen into disuse since the latter part of the 20th century, a common slang term for the nuts in some regions of the United States (especially the South) was "nigger toes". Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,280 × 960 pixels, file size: 517 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Brazil Nuts. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,280 × 960 pixels, file size: 517 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Brazil Nuts. ... Flag of Pará See other Brazilian States Capital Belém Largest City Belém Area 1. ... Flag of Acre See other Brazilian States Capital Rio Branco Largest City Rio Branco Area 152 522 km² Population   - Total   - Density 557 526 3. ... Historic Southern United States. ... // Nigger is a racial slur used to refer to dark-skinned people, especially those of African ancestry. ...

The cream nut is one of several historical names for the Brazil nut used in America.

Unshelled Brazil nut
Depiction of the Brazil nut in Scientific American Supplement, No. 598, June 18, 1887
Depiction of the Brazil nut in Scientific American Supplement, No. 598, June 18, 1887

While classified by cooks as a nut, botanists consider Brazil nuts to be a seed and not a nut, since in nuts the shell splits in halves, with the meat separate from the shell. Photo by Horst Frank. ... Photo by Horst Frank. ... Brazil nut and casing, Bertholletia excelsa leaf - Project Gutenberg eBook 11662 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Brazil nut and casing, Bertholletia excelsa leaf - Project Gutenberg eBook 11662 This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Scientific American is a popular-science magazine, published (first weekly and later monthly) since August 28, 1845, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States. ...

Nut production

Around 20,000 tonnes of Brazil nuts are harvested each year, of which Bolivia accounts for about 50%, Brazil 40% and Peru 10% (2000 estimates).[2] In 1980, annual production was around 40,000 tons per year from Brazil alone, and in 1970 Brazil harvested a reported 104,487 tons of nuts.[3]

Effects of harvesting

Brazil nuts for international trade come entirely from wild collection rather than from plantations. This has been advanced as a model for generating income from a tropical forest without destroying it. The nuts are gathered by migrant workers known as castanheiros. Tropic wet forests in the World Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical wet forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest biome. ...

Analysis of tree ages in areas that are harvested show that moderate and intense gathering takes so many seeds that not enough are left to replace older trees as they die. Sites with light gathering activities had many young trees, while sites with intense gathering practices had hardly any young trees.[4]

Statistical tests were done to determine what environmental factors could be contributing to the lack of younger trees. The most consistent effect was found to be the level of gathering activity at a particular site. A computer model predicting the size of trees where people picked all the nuts matched the tree size data that was gathered from physical sites that had heavy harvesting. It has been suggested that simulation software be merged into this article or section. ...


Shelled Brazil nuts
Shelled Brazil nuts

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1501x924, 1159 KB) Brazil nuts. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1501x924, 1159 KB) Brazil nuts. ...


Brazil nuts are 18% protein, 13% carbohydrates, and 69% fat. The fat breakdown is roughly 25% saturated, 41% monounsaturated, and 34% polyunsaturated. They are somewhat earthy in flavor. The saturated fat content of Brazil nuts is among the highest of all nuts, surpassing even macadamia nuts. Because of the resulting rich taste, Brazil nuts can often substitute for macadamia nuts or even coconuts in recipes. The high fat content of the nuts results in their not keeping well, and, in particular, shelled Brazil nuts soon become rancid. The nuts are also pressed for oil. Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acids. ... For discussion how dietary fats affect cardiovascular health, see Diet and heart disease. ... An unsaturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there are one or more double bonds in the fatty acid chain. ... Species Macadamia integrifolia Macadamia tetraphylla The macadamia nut is the fruit of a tree native to the east coast of Australia. ... For other uses, see Coconut (disambiguation). ...

Nutritionally, Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, although the amount of selenium varies greatly.[5] They are also a good source of magnesium and thiamine. For other uses, see Selenium (disambiguation). ... General Name, symbol, number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, period, block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white solid at room temp Standard atomic weight 24. ... For the similarly spelled nucleic acid, see Thymine Thiamine or thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is one of the B vitamins. ...

Some research has suggested that selenium intake is correlated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.[6] This has led some commentators to recommend the consumption of Brazil nuts as a protective measure.[7]. Subsequent studies have shown that the effects of selenium on prostate cancer are inconclusive.[8]

Other uses

As well its food use, Brazil nut oil is also used as a lubricant in clocks, for making artists' paints, and in the cosmetics industry. For other uses, see Clock (disambiguation). ... The definition of an artist is wide-ranging and covers a broad spectrum of activities to do with creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. ... For other uses, see Paint (disambiguation). ... Make-up redirects here. ...

The timber from Brazil nut trees is of excellent quality, but logging the trees is prohibited by law in all three producing countries (Brazil, Bolivia and Peru). Illegal extraction of timber and land clearances present a continuing threat.[9]

The Brazil nut effect, where large items mixed with other smaller items (e.g. Brazil nuts mixed with peanuts) tend to rise to the top, is named after the species' large nuts. The brazil nut effect is the phenomenon where big particles end up on the surface when a mixture of granular material of different sizes is shaken. ... Binomial name L. This article is about the legume. ...


Brazil nuts contain small amounts of radium, a radioactive material. Although the amount is very small, about 1–7 pCi/g (40–260 Bq/kg), and most of it is not retained by the body, this is 1000 times higher than in other foods. According to Oak Ridge Associated Universities, this is not because of elevated levels of radium in the soil, but due to "the very extensive root system of the tree." [10] General Name, Symbol, Number radium, Ra, 88 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 7, s Appearance silvery white metallic Standard atomic weight (226) g·mol−1 Electron configuration [Rn] 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... Radioactivity may mean: Look up radioactivity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. ...

See also

This is the official list of endangered flora of Brazil. ...

References and external links

  1. ^ Harvesting nuts, improving lives in Brazil, Bruno Taitson, WWF, 18 Jan 2007
  2. ^ Economic Viability of Brazil Nut Trading in Peru Chris Collinson et al, University of Greenwich
  3. ^ The Brazil Nut Industry — Past, Present, and Future, Scott A. Mori, The New York Botanical Garden
  4. ^ http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2004.03.022
  5. ^ Chang, Jacqueline C.; Walter H. Gutenmann, Charlotte M. Reid, Donald J. Lisk (1995). "Selenium content of Brazil nuts from two geographic locations in Brazil". Chemosphere 30 (4): 801-802. 0045-6535. 
  6. ^ Klein EA, Thompson IM, Lippman SM, Goodman PJ, Albanes D, Taylor PR, Coltman C., "SELECT: the next prostate cancer prevention trial. Selenum and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial.", J Urol. 2001 Oct;166(4):1311-5. [PMID 11547064]
  7. ^ Cancer Decisions Newsletter Archive, Selenium, Brazil Nuts and Prostate Cancer, [1] last accessed 8 March 2007
  8. ^ Peters U, Foster CB, Chatterjee N, Schatzkin A, Reding D, Andriole GL, Crawford ED, Sturup S, Chanock SJ, Hayes RB. "Serum selenium and risk of prostate cancer-a nested case-control study." Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan;85(1):209-17. [PMID 17209198]
  9. ^ Activists Trapped by Loggers in Amazon, Greenpeace, 18 October 2007
  10. ^ Radioactivity of Brazil nuts. http://www.orau.org/PTP/collection/consumer%20products/brazilnuts.htm
  • Americas Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Costa Rica, November 1996) (1998). Bertholletia excelsa. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 09 May 2006. Listed as Vulnerable (VU A1acd+2cd v2.3)
  • Peres, C.A. et al. (2003). "Demographic threats to the sustainability of Brazil nut exploitation". Science 302 (Dec. 19): 2112-2114. 
  • Brazil Nut homepage
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Bertholletia excelsa

  Results from FactBites:
Nut of the Month Club - April is Brazil Nut Month (0 words)
The tough-shelled, triangular Brazil nut is the seed of a tropical evergreen tree, Bertholletia excelsa, family Lecythidaceae, that grows in large forests in the Amazon River basin of South America.
Belem, a port in the Brazilian state of Para, is a center for Brazil nut export, and the nuts are often called Para nuts.
Brazil nut kernels are sweet tasting and an excellent source of protein.
The Brazil Nut (3303 words)
Brazil nuts are cultivated in tropical botanical gardens far outside its native range, and minor plantations have been established in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (Müller, 1981) and Ghana in Africa (D.K. Abbiw, pers.
The flowers of the Brazil nut are zygomorphic, with an androecium that is prolonged on one side into a hood that arches over and is tightly appressed to the summit of the ovary.
Brazil nuts are harvested almost entirely from wild trees during a five to six month period in the rainy season.
  More results at FactBites »



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