Organic Acerola 17%, valuable vitamin C ingredient
Acerola is native to the Caribbean islands, Central America and the Amazonian region. Over the last few decades Brazil started to exploit acerola commercially and is now the largest producer of acerola, mainly concentrated in the northern part.The main harvest time could be considered from October until April or May, but the fructification period occurs several times per year.
According to literature, the ascorbic acid content of the pulp of partially ripe fruit can have values as high as 4500 mg per 100 g, which is around 50–100 times than that of orange or lemon. The current (1989) recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C for an adult is 60-75 milligrams per day. Acerola is a source of several other macro and micronutrients, such as pro-vitamin A and it also contains other vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, anthocyanins and flavonoids.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is one of the most important vitamins and essential for human and animal life. This watersoluble vitamin contributes to many health benefits such as prevention of scurvy and cancer, relief from common cold, stimulate collagen synthesis and play a significant role in wound healing process and general immune system. It plays a key role in the synthesis and maintenance of tissues including the formation of bones, teeth and muscles. Vitamin C helps to enhance availability and absorption of iron from non-heme sources. It also has antioxidant properties since it can inhibit free radicals from being oxidized and prevent cell damage.
Humans are unable to synthetize their own vitamin C supply, therefore vitamin C must be consumed from the diet. It has been reported that the vitamin C of acerola is better absorbed by human beings than the synthetic ascorbic acid and that humans can only absorb 50% of synthetic vitamin intake compared to that of natural vitamins.
Areas of application
Acerola can be currently found in health and nutrition, dietary supplements, cereal bars, and fortified preparations. As enrichment or as an additive, in beverages, smoothies, ice cream, gelatin, yogurt and other dairy products, confectionery, fruit preserves, jellies, tomato sauce, soups, snacks, among others.
Its antioxidant properties play an important role in the stability of varied food, as well as of the flavor and color. Thus, it is ideal to be used in meat products, to prevent oxidation and extend the shelf life of the products. It could be used in combination with other products and have a synergistic effect. In Bakery, ascorbic acid acts as gluten chain enhancer and dough improver to improve the quality of bread and to influence the bread crumb texture, elasticity and stability. Besides food applications, Acerola is also used in preparations for skin care to fight cellular aging.
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