Monday, November 23, 2020

Acerola cherry

Acerola cherry is a common name for Barbados cherry or West Indian cherry.

The genus Malpighia belonging to the family Malpighiaceae contains about 45 species of shrub or small trees. The plants are mainly cultivated for the sweet taste of their juicy fruits rich in vitamin C which mainly contain about 1000 ­ 4000 mg/100 g of edible part. The vitamins C of the fruits are being promoted in different forms such as powder, tablets, capsules, juice and syrup.

Besides a high content of vitamin C, the fruit also contains amino acids, phenolic compounds including anthocyanins and flavonoids, and carotenoids, which makes it a suitable candidate for being classified as a nutraceutical.

The main constituents of green or ripe acerola include ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, and diketogulonic acids. Acerola fruit also contains vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

The fruits become more delicious by simply stewed with little amount of sugar to modify its acidity. The fruit can either be dried or frozen which can be used for puree preparation. The juice help in prevent the darkening of bananas sliced for fruit cups or salads.

These plants are native to Central America and Northern South America and are now being cultivated in mainly in Brazil, Mexico and some parts of South East Asia and India.

The thin skin may be light reddish-yellow or deep red when ripe. The flesh is usually of a reddish-yellow hue, although some types with dark red skins also have dark red flesh. Fruits are produced in the leaf axils either singly or in 2 – 3 number. Fruits are oblate to round and 3­lobed. Fruit diameter is 1 – 3 cm and weighing 3 – 5 g. The fruit resemble the true cherry but it is a three-­carpellate drupe, bright red and orange colored, peel is thin and glossy.
Acerola cherry

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