How do you get Acai from the Amazon
to the USA?
If you have read our articles on the health properties of Acai you are
probably wondering why you don't see Acai berries in your local fruit store. In this article we
will look at the challenges with getting fresh Acai from the Amazon.
How can I get fresh Acai berries?
If you happen to live in the Amazon rainforest you are in luck. Just climb up the Acai
tree and pick some fresh Acai berries. Unfortunately, for our readers who don't
live in the Amazon rainforest, getting fresh Acai berries can be close to impossible.
As we discussed in our article on the nutritional makeup of Acai, the
Acai berry is 30 - 50% fat. Foods high in fat will go rancid very quickly. Due to the
high fat content, Acai berries go rancid within a day of being picked. This means it is
not feasible for Acai berries to be exported to the US (and other countries) because they
would go bad before they ever reached our fruit markets.
Image from Sambazon
So if I live outside the Amazon I can't enjoy Acai berries?
While fresh Acai berries are not an option, frozen Acai pulp is available. Earthfruits, a
world leader in Acai, has developed a process to flash freeze Acai pulp within 12-18 hours from when
the Acai berries are picked. This frozen Acai can then be shipped to the US
and other countries. Frozen Acai can be used in smoothies, juices
Of course the problem with frozen Acai pulp is that it must be stored and shipped frozen.
This limits the stores you will find frozen Acai pulp in and also limits
how you can use Acai pulp. While frozen Acai is great for making smoothies, it
is not ideal if you are looking for Acai you can keep in your locker or
take along in your bag.
Is there a way to get fresh Acai that is not frozen?
Fortunately - yes! Earthfruits, a world leader in Acai exports, has come up with
a freeze dried Acai powder. Acai is fresh picked in the Amazon and the
pulp (the seed of the acai berry is not used) is frozen and de-hydrated within 18 hours. What you
end up with is a freeze dried Acai powder that maintains all the health benefits of fresh Acai. We call it -
freeze dried superfood! This freeze dried Acai powder can then be put into capsules and
provide a convenient way to enjoy Acai at any time and any place.
Is freeze dried Acai powder really as good as fresh Acai?
Acai tastes so good - if we lived in the Amazon we would probably eat it fresh just to enjoy
the taste. However, from a nutrition stand point the freeze dried Acai powder does maintain
the same nutrition profile as fresh Acai. In fact, because freeze dried Acai removes
the water from the Acai - ounce for ounce freeze dried Acai has a much
higher concentration of nutrients than fresh Acai.
The actual process that Earthfruits uses to freeze dry their Acai involves a 6.9 fold
concentrate of their 14% dried Acai pulp. What this means in English is that it takes
about 7 grams of Acai pulp to make 1 gram of Acai freeze dried powder. 100 grams of fresh Acai
has an impressive antioxidant rating of 5,500 ORAC score but 100 grams of
freeze dried Earthfruits Acai powder has an amazing ORAC score of over 70,000!
Since the Acai Berry is so perishable we are not able to go to the
local fruit market and buy a basket of Acai berries. The good news is,
companies like Earth Fruits have developed a process to export frozen Acai pulp
and freeze dried Acai powder. While frozen Acai is great if you want
to make a smoothie or dessert, we will be focusing on the freeze
dried Acai powder that can be put in capsules to make Acai supplements.
Now that we know Acai powder exists - the question is...