The fruit of the Acerola Cherry tree, Malpighia emarginata L is rich in Vitamin C and carotenoids, with the cherry-like fruits being one of the richest known natural sources of vitamin C. The fresh fruit can contain up to 4000 mg vitamin C per gram of fresh weight. Oranges provide 500 to 4,000 parts per million vitamin C or ascorbic acid, while Acerola assays in the range of 16,000 to 172,000 parts per million. In addition to its high vitamin-C content Acerola also contains naturally occurring bioflavonoids rutin and hesperidin; flavonoid-type antioxidants including anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins; pectins; tannins; natural sugars; plant acids and carotenoids.
Acerola can be found growing wild and under cultivation on the sandy soils throughout north-eastern Brazil. It is native to northern South America, Central America, and Jamaica, Florida and Texas.
Acerola’s use is mostly associated with its high content of vitamin C and the synergistic bioflavonoids rutin and hesperidin, providing one of nature’s most potent antioxidants.
Acerola is an ideal food based source of nutrients necessary for immune support. Acerola is a rich source of vitamin C, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, and other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients providing ideal synergy for immune cell function.
Compared to oranges, acerola provides twice as much magnesium, pantothenic acid, and potassium. Other vitamins present include vitamin A (4,300 to 12,500 IU/100 g, compared to approximately 11,000 IU for raw carrots), thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin in concentrations comparable to those in other fruits.
One hundred and fifty other constituents have been identified in acerola; the major ones being furfural, hexadecanoic acid, and limonene.
Acerola cherries are an excellent source of powerful antioxidants and are also rich in protein and mineral salts, principally iron, calcium and phosphorus.
Acerola can be found as juice, puree, capsules and in powdered form. Acerola provides approximately 18% vitamin C, therefore 1g (approximately ¼ of a teaspoon) of powder provides around 180 mg vitamin C and it can be stirred into water, juice or yoghurt, with or without food.