Açaí a Berry in a Class of its Own?
Açaí is a unique berry inside and out, for a few reasons. Açaí is a palm fruit that grows on trees 60 feet tall. Açaí contains a unique nutrient composition that includes omega fatty acids and 19 of 20 amino acids. No other fruit has this extremely nutritious composition. Furthermore, açaí cannot be consumed in its natural berry form. How can we consume it then? Unless you are in the amazon, it can only be consumed in a frozen puree form. The açaí berry is highly perishable and will spoil 10 hours after being picked from the tree. Its pulp needs to be frozen to preserve its nutrient qualities for prolonged periods. At Explore Superfoods we carefully monitor every aspect of the harvest and production process to bring you the best açaí products available. Let us find out how everything happens.
As you know açaí berries grow on Palm trees in Brazil and is native to the Amazon River Basin. It typically grows along the banks of the river where the currents of the amazon deposit rich minerals. Açaí evolved to have a deep purple color whose pigment is a result of the antioxidant rich makeup of the berry. Açaí’s rich nutritional value is a result of the berry’s adaptation to survive in the harsh sun-rich environment of the amazon rain forest. Each portion of the harvest and production process is vital to preserving the best qualities of the açaí berry.
First, the berries are harvested and put into wicker baskets made from vegetable fiber or plastic boxes with holes on the side to provide ventilation. The particular method in which the berries are packaged is important to preserving the freshness of the berry. A proper amount of ventilation must be present to prevent spoilage of the açaí berry during transport. The baskets that are utilized for this are critical for preserving the fruit in order to keep it at its freshest form. During transport, the berries are kept out of direct sunlight to prevent drying and deterioration of the fruit. After the berry has reached its designated location, a selection process occurs. The selection process separates berries that exhibit the optimal characteristics of ripeness and freshness, and removes those that do not. The berries are then soaked and washed multiple times to remove any remaining soil or dirt particles. This process also softens the pulp of the berry surrounding the seed so that it can be removed to produce the açaí puree used for smoothies and açaí bowls. After the açaí is packaged, it is rapidly frozen to lock in freshness and preserve all nutrient qualities of the berry.
There you have it, not only is the açaí berry in a class of its own, all açaí products are not created equal. Explore Superfoods performs each step of harvest and production with care to ensure the greatest retention of nutrients and the healthiest açaí on the market. You will experience it when taste our product! In our next blog, we will talk about benefits of açaí…stay tuned!