Euterpe oleracea.
The pronunce is (ah-sah-ee).

The pronunce is (ah-sah-ee). Depending from geographic areas, the palm has different names, for example: Manicole, Açazeiro, Pinauu, Manaka.

The grainy pulp of Açai berry is only 20% of the fruit. The remaining is a large pit. It comes from very high palm trees in the Amazon.

Each açai palm grows only between the equator line and the 30th grade of north latitude, producing approximately 24 kg (53 pounds) of fruit every year.

It is collected between July and December, exclusively handpicked and prepared immediately because of its sensitive nature. It maintains its nutritional value for only 24 hours.

It has represented a fundamental food element for indigenous populations and Brazilian athletes for centuries.

Recently, the research has classified Açai berry as the most nutritious fruit of the entire Amazon forest.

It contains a high concentration of Anthocyanins: the purple and dark red fruit’s antioxidants. The Açai berry ’s antioxidant power is over 3 times more than the bilberry. It is rich of EFA (Essential Fatty Acids): Omega 3,6,9; Proteins, Mineral salts such as Iron and Phosphorus.

The berry is an anti-inflammatory and cholesterol controller.
Brazilian people also consider it a true ingredient for beauty, mainly used as a natural remedy against epidermal problems.

Energizing and Nutritious
Suitable for Vegans and many different diets; low Glycemic Index (GI) and nutritionally complete. Açai helps the metabolism and is considered a perfect supplement for athletes.

Curiosity - Orac unity and antioxidant capacity

ORAC: Oxygen Radicals Absorbance Capacity
Studies from National Institute on Aging of Baltimore in 1993, had discovered a valid system to verify the total capacity of peroxides absorbed in food.
Afterwards, many scientists subjected various foods to the test, comparing them. After measuring, the results of the tested foods were between 0,87 and 2641 ORAC unities. Açai berry was analyzed later with surprising results, 1027 ORAC unities: the highest amount ever registered before, excluding spices and chocolate.
That is why its antioxidant capacity has been considered powerful, although the test results fluctuate based on the type of Açai and the collecting period.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends a daily consumption of 7000 ORAC unities, for example: 5 bananas, 80g (0,18 lb) blueberries or 6,8g (0,02 lb) of Açai.

“Açai, il frutto della vita” Josef Pies
“Acai: An Extraordinary Antioxidant-Rich Palm Fruit” PhD, FACN Alexander G Schauss

The legend has it:

Many years ago, in the Amazon, a large tribe of indigenous passed a terrible famine. With the arrival of new tribe members, the absence of food was unbearable.
The chief, Itaki, in the name of Tupã the god, ordered the sacrifice of every newborn, until the day the population managed to sustain themselves by finding food again.
The baby of Iaçã, daughter of the chief was no exception who was also killed.
Iaçã cried many days long, praying to Tupã for the end of this dramatic condition. One night Iaçã heard the crying voice of her dead baby from the pluvial forest and she ran to it. She tried to hug her baby, who seemed to be sitting on a palm tree trunk.
The following morning Iaçã was found there, dead, her lips were still smiling, staring without life, towards the top of the palm with its violet berries.
The father ordered to collect those berries, realizing how they were precious and nutritious. Since that day, there were no more sacrifices and the fruit received the name Acai, the reverse of Iaçã’s name.
Today, the indigenous of the Amazon still call the fruit by Iça-çai, “crying fruit” considering it a fundamental food for them.

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