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Wholesale Superfood Ingredients in the Spotlight:

ORGANIC AÇAI BERRIES

Protecting the Amazon

Increasingly consumers around the world are looking at their food choices based not only on their nutritional benefits, but also on how these foods are sourced. The beauty of the Açaí Berry is that not only is this a food with an exceptional nutritional content, it also provides so many benefits to the people and area from which it is harvested.


The Açaí palm tree (Euterpe oleracea, Euterpe precatoria and Euterpe edulis) grows natively throughout the Amazon basin and in the case of the E. edulis, also locally known as Juçara or Jussara, also in the Atlantica Rainforest which follows the eastern coast of Brazil. Although the berry has traditionally been an important food source for the inhabitants of the Amazon and more recently throughout Brazil, this tree has been cleared in large stretches of the jungle either because of deforestation for cattle ranching and commercial farming, because of the logging industry, or because of the heart of palm industry. By giving the tree more value to have it kept standing rather than chopped down, the Açaí Berry industry is in effect helping to protect the Amazon rainforest, and at the same time, providing the local communities who wild harvest the fruit an important source of income and a means for sustainable development.


The Açaí Berry is wild harvested from the Amazon and Atlantica Rainforests by local communities and is often cited as a model for the sustainable management of the forest, whereby the fruit provides a viable means for economic development without negatively impacting the natural resource.



Açai in a Multitude of Products

Once harvested the Açaí berry is processed within 24 hours for optimal quality. As 90% of the Açaí berry is comprised by a seed, the first step is depulping, mechanically separating the fruit from the seed. The resulting Puree can be frozen, or it can be further processed to produce concentrated juices, clarified juices, spray dried juice powders and extracts, freeze dried powders, or cold pressed to produce an Açaí Oil. These products have found their way into a plethora of product in the food, beverage, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical sectors world wide.



Some of the Benefits of Organic Açai Berries

The unique structures found in Açaí Berries, including anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants), phytosterols (which have been found to help lower cholesterol levels) and essential fatty acids (with a high proportion Omega 9) make this fruit an exceptional superfood.


An Antioxidant Boost

The exceptionally high levels of antioxidants found naturally in the Açaí Berry are mainly attributed to the remarkable concentration of anthocyanins, a deep purple pigment prevalent in the pulp of the Açaí berry. Alongside the anthocyanins are several other phytochemicals and nutrients, such as vitamin E, that act together to give Açaí Berries one of the highest ORAC levels (a measure of antioxidant activity) compared to most other fruits or vegetables. These antioxidants act to protect our bodies from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are understood to be at the root of many chronic diseases and the ageing process. In more recent studies, anthocyanins have also been identified to have a positive cellular anti-inflammatory action, and for this reason is thought to have some far reaching health benefits in the prevention of some diseases. 


Omega 9 - Essential Fatty Acid

Essential fatty acids are not commonly found in high concentrations in fruit, but uniquely, the Açaí Berry presents interesting levels of polyunsaturated fats, and in particular Oleic acid (Omega 9), comprising around 60% of the total fat content. In fact, the fat profile in Açaí has been found to be similar to that of Olive Oil, which is significant, since the high consumption of olive oil in the Mediterranean diet is thought to be a contributing factor to the low incidence of heart disease in these populations.


Sustained Energy Release and Low Glycemic Response

The Açaí Berry is characterized by having only trace levels of sugars, but high levels of fibers, fats and to a lesser extent, proteins. The effect that this has are three fold: the fibers, fats and protein help with satiety, prolonging the time before we next feel hungry; as they are not digested as quickly, they provide a slow release of energy, rather than the spikes associated with high sugar foods; and as an additional benefit, they are ideal for diabetics, since they do not cause a peak in blood sugar levels, having one of the lowest Glycemic Loads of any fruit.


Açaí Phytosterols and Cholesterol

The predominant phytosterol in Açaí is beta-sitosterol, as found also in pecans, avocados, pumpkin seeds and wheatgerm. Phytosterols are similar in structure to cholesterol, and research has found that they act to lower LDL blood cholesterol levels. A study conducted over 85 weeks found that the cholesterol lowering effects of consuming phytosterols is sustained. Consumption of Phytosterols has also been linked to the reduction of triglyceride levels in the blood. This is significant as lowering the levels of LDL and triglycerides found in the blood may be linked to a reduction in coronary heart disease.


A Truly Complete Food

Just to round off this highly nutritious Superfood, a 100g serve of the pulp of the Açaí berry provides around 20% of our RDI for Vitamin E, 10% RDI for Calcium, 10% RDI of Iron, 9% RDI of Magnesium, the same amount of protein as an egg, and three times the fiber of a slice of wholemeal bread. It is clear to see why the Açaí Berry has long been revered as a sustenance food in the Amazon!


Superfood Ingredients’ Açaí Berry Formats

Our wholesale Açaí products, both organic and conventional, are available in the following formats:


Powder Products: Freeze Dried Açaí Berry Powder, Açaí Berry Juice Powders, Açaí Berry Extracts

Liquid Products: Açaí Puree, Açaí Juice Concentrate, Clarified Açaí Juices and Concentrates

Oil Products: Cold Pressed Virgin Açaí Oil, Virgin Açaí Butter


Some further detail on each product format and their possible applications in the Food, Beverage, Nutraceutical and Cosmeceutical sectors is provided below


Organic Freeze Dried Açaí Powder

There are two species of Açaí used to produce Freeze Dried Açaí Powder, one is Euterpe oleracea that grows mostly in the flooded region of the Amazon, close the the water courses. This is most abundant from the Eastern state of Para in Brazil, close to the mouth of the Amazon river. This species of Açaí has a higher Omega 9 fat content, a vibrant purple colour and a green earthy flavour. The other species of Açaí, Euterpe precatoria, grows in dryer conditions, and is found more abundantly in the Western Amazon region, in Brazil and some neighboring countries such as Bolivia. The Euterpe precatoria Açaí is characterised by good levels of Anthocyanins and overall levels of antioxidants / ORAC. Its fat content is less and its colour is darker, almost black. Organic Freeze Dried Açaí Powder is ideal for nutraceutical applications, for dietary supplements, or any application where a high antioxidant powder is required.


Introducing Juçara Açaí

Although Açaí from the species Euterpe oleracea and more recently the Euterpe precatoria are now becoming widespread, little know, and of only small availability is a third species called Euterpe edulis (locally known as Juçara or Jussara Açaí), which is native to a stretch of rainforest called the Mata Atlantica which runs along the eastern coastal area of Brazil. The Euterpe edulis Juçara Açaí and is found mostly in the Southern Brazilian states. To date there has been very little commercial production of the E. edulis, since it is a much scarcer resource, however, it is of particular interest since of the three species, the Juçara Açaí shows by far the greatest antioxidant activity.


From the Juçara Açaí Superfood Ingredients is pleased to introduce to the food, beverage, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries world wide, a highly concentrated powder extract made 100% from the E. edulis Juçara Açaí with no other ingredients added. To give an idea of its concentration, 1kg of powder is made by using over 115kg of fruit. This extract is highly soluble in water (just a couple of grams in a glass of water quickly turns it into a clear deep purple drink). Tests results have found that the levels of anthocyanins in this extract is 5,120 mg/100g, which is an outstanding result.


Açaí Juice Powders and Dry Extracts

There are a range of options available made from the Euterpe oleracea species, including defatted (ultrafiltered) and standardised powders. These are spray dried powders, and are most suitable for beverage applications where solubility is important, or some food applications where heat is going to be applied. Organic options are available.


Organic Açaí Puree and Concentrate

A market standard has been applied to Açaí Puree measured by its solids content, ranging from 9% solids, 12% solids (standard) and 14% solids (premium). Superfood Ingredients is now launching a new option not before available, which is an Açaí Puree Concentrate. This has had some of the fibers and fats removed, along with more of the water content, so that the levels of Anthocyanins are optimised. The Açaí Purees and Açaí Puree Concentrate is ideal for use in smoothies, ice-creams, yoghurts, desserts and liquid supplements.


Organic Clarified Açaí Juices and Concentrates

Açaí naturally has high levels of fibers and fats, but by removing these during a process called clarification, we can produce a juice that is transparent and clear purple in colour. This is the preferred option to beverage manufacturers that want to produce a clear drink and do not want sedimentation or fats present in their end product. Available as Clarified Açaí Juice Single Strength, Double Strength and Concentrate. These are highly functional ingredients with standardised minimum levels of anthocyanins, perfect for manufacturers who would like to make claims about the antioxidant content of their beverages.


Virgin Cold Pressed Açaí Oil and Butter

Superfood Ingredient’s Açaí Oil and Butter is made from natural cold pressed oil, extracted from the pulp of the Açaí berry (Euterpe oleracea). Since the oil is cold pressed and unrefined, it retains the natural complexities and goodness as provided by nature, along with its fresh and natural flavour, colour and aroma. The unique structures found in the oil of the Açaí Berry make this oil and butter of benefit for both food and cosmeceutical applications. Organic Açaí Oil is also available.



Please feel free to contact us at ask@sfisuperfoods.com for more information.


If your business is located in Australia, New Zealand or Asia, and you are interested in wholesale bulk supply of our Organic Freeze Dried Açaí Berry Powers, Açaí Berry Purees, Açaí Berry Concentrates, Açaí Berry Clarified Juices or Açaí Berry Oil and Butter, please contact us at australasia@sfisuperfoods.com


If your business in located in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore or Japan and you are interested in wholesale bulk supply of our Organic Freeze Dried Açaí Berry Powers, Açaí Berry Purees, Açaí Berry Concentrates, Açaí Berry Clarified Juices or Açaí Berry Oil and Butter, please contact us at asia@sfisuperfoods.com


If your business in located in the USA or Canada and you are interested in wholesale bulk supply of our Organic Freeze Dried Açaí Berry Powers, Açaí Berry Purees, Açaí Berry Concentrates, Açaí Berry Clarified Juices or Açaí Berry Oil and Butter, please contact us at americas@sfisuperfoods.com


For customers interested in buying our Organic Freeze Dried Acai Powder as a retail product please click on the link below to go to the SuperFoodies website in New Zealand.

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One of the forerunners in the wave of awareness of Superfruits in the last decade, the Açaí Berry has become widely known as a functional food due to its exceptionally high levels of anthocyanins, giving Açaí one of the highest ORAC (anti-oxidant activity) levels of any fruit. Since it was first exported from South America at the turn of the century the benefits of this Amazonian Superfood are now being enjoyed across the globe.