#LoveFood: Açaí palm

Today we celebrate the “little Friday” which is Thursday!

Açaí Juice

The sweet thick purple juice made from the Açaí berry is a great energy provider but is very high in calories. The Açaí Juice is one of the trending drinks on Brazilian beaches. The Açaí berry can also be found in a thicker form, similar to a paste, that is commonly mixed to other fruit like bananas and strawberries.downloadThe açaí palm is a species of palm tree in the genus Euterpe cultivated for its fruit and hearts of palm. Its name comes from the Portuguese adaptation of the Tupian word ïwaca’i, ‘[fruit that] cries or expels water’. Global demand for the fruit has expanded rapidly in recent years, and açaí is now cultivated for that purpose primarily. Euterpe edulis (juçara) is a closely related species which is now the primary source of hearts of palm.

Euterpe oleracea is mostly native to Brazil. Açaí palms are tall, slender palms growing to more than 25 m (82 ft) tall, with pinnate leaves up to 3 m (9.8 ft) long.

Fruit 

The fruit, commonly known as açaí berry, is a small, round, black-purple drupe about 25 mm (1 in) in circumference, similar in appearance to a grape, but smaller and with less pulp and produced in branched panicles of 500 to 900 fruits. The exocarp of the ripe fruits is a deep purple color, or green, depending on the kind of açaí and its maturity. The mesocarp is pulpy and thin, with a consistent thickness of 1 mm (0.04 in) or less. It surrounds the voluminous and hard endocarp, which contains a single large seed about 7–10 mm (0.3–0.4 in) in diameter. The seed makes up about 80% of the fruit. Two crops of fruit are produced each year and is harvested during the dry season between July and December.

Other uses

Apart from the use of its fruit as food or beverage, the açaí palm has other commercial uses. Leaves may be made into hats, mats, baskets, brooms and roof thatch for homes, and trunk wood, resistant to pests, for building construction. Tree trunks may be processed to yield dietary minerals. The palm heart is widely exploited as a delicacy. Comprising 80% of the fruit mass, açaí seeds may be ground for livestock food or as a component of organic soil for plants. Planted seeds are used for new palm tree stock, which, under the right growing conditions, can require months to form seedlings.
The seeds are a source of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids.

LoveStoryPeople feels a strong health and ethic responsibility. Share your opinion and story with us, using today’s hashtag #LoveFood.

 

 

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