|Origin||Acai berry is native to Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.|
|Description||It is a tall, slender tree, which grows 15 to 25 m in height. The average mature plant has 3-10 well-developed stems ( 10-18 cm in diameter ) from a single seed and root system. Each stem behaves like individual tree and bears 3-5 bunches with each bunch holding about hundreds of berries.|
|Growth Habitat||Acai berry is not considered cold hardy so it can tolerate cold only down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit when mature enough. The optimum growth conditions are in tropical or temperate climates with high humidity and preferably with periods of soil waterlogging. It can be grown in tropical pre-montane rain forests, and periodically flooded areas near rivers.|
|Foliage||Large pinnate leaves, 2-3 feet long, sheathed by an erect petiole that is born of acrocaulis.|
|Flowers||Acai berry produces small purple flowers that grow in clusters. Male and female flowers are born on the same inflorescence. Flowers are followed by green fruits that grow in bunches.|
|Fruits||Each acai berry measures about the size of small sized grape, 2-3 cm in diameter. They appear dark-green initially, later turn to deep-purple color on attaining maturity. Inside each fruit, there is a seed, brown and about 6 millimeters in diameter, constituting 60 percent of the volume of fruit.|
|Harvest||Under ideal conditions, it is possible to harvest acai berries all year-round. In South America, acai berries are harvested by hand for generations. The natives have to climb the tree trunk which can grow to as high as 30 meters. At the top, the branched panicles containing the acai berries are chopped off and slowly brought to the ground.|
|Soil||Acai berry requires a soil with high organic content and a pH between 4.5 and 6.5. It prefers a sandy loamy soil.|
|Fertilization||With regard to fertilizer, the organic type is preferred to maintain the purity of the berries. Compost is typically used as it can provide adequate nourishment to the growing trees and ensure healthy growth. It is imperative to choose compost that contains all the essential nutrients in it.|
|Propagation||Acai berry can be propagated by seed and by shoots springing from the plant.|
|Acai berry has an amazing antioxidant quality. It is very rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C and polyphenols. It also have an ample amount of iron, calcium and Vitamin A with amino acid. Fatty acids helps in the movement and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A,D,E and K. Acai berry has high caloric values and fats. It is very rich in healthy omega fats. Nearly 50 percent of it is fat- with 74 percent of the fat coming from healthy unsaturated fats such as:
- Omega 3
- Omega 6
- Omega 9
|Health Benefits||High levels antioxidants in acai berry promotes overall body health and fights free radicals.
It boosts up energy levels.
It helps to add luster to skin and nails.
It strengthens our immune system and provides greater energy and stamina.
It provides better sleep and anti-allergenic support.
It also improves digestion and sexual function.
It promotes better circulation and aids in preventing blood clots.
Helps in the prevention and treatment of Alzhemier ( brain disorder) and arteriosclerosis (stiffening of arteries).
|Commercial Uses||Acai extracts have been used by Amazon tribes as the treatment remedy for diarrhea, parasitic infections, hemorrhages, and ulcer treatment. Its large leaves have been used for the manufacture of indigenous peoples homes. The pulp of its fruit is widely consumed by all the locals in the form of drinks, sweets and ice-cream. The seeds and roots of the plant, dry out in the sun, are used for the elaboration of beauty accessories and decoctions of the acai root are intended for medicinal purposes.|
|Food Suggestion||Acai Berry Cupcakes
- ¼ cup of milk
- 1 tabsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar (if needed, can add more)
- ½ cup of butter
- 1-2 cups of acai berry pulps
- 1-2 cups of cake flour
1.Preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While heating put liners on the cup cake pan.
2.Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl for about 3-5 mins or wait till it becomes fluffy.
3.Add eggs to the mixture and beat it well.
4.Sift together the cake flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.
5.Now slowly beat the flour and baking powder in the creamed mixture and then alternate this with the milk.
6.Using a spatula, fold the acai berry pulp into the mixture.
7.Pour into the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 mins.