Fruit of the Day - Acerola

2:19 AM

Malpighia emarginata is a tropical small tree.. Common names include acerola,
Barbados Cherry, West Indian Cherry and Wild Crapemyrtle.

M. emarginata can be found in the southernmost parts of the contiguous United States (southern Florida and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas),Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America as far south as Peru and Bahia in BrazilIt is cultivated in the tropics and subtropics throughout the world, including the Canary Islands, Ghana, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, India, Java, Hawaii, and Australia.

The fruit is a bright red drupe 1–3 cm (0.39–1.2 in) in diameter with a mass of 3–5 g (0.11–0.18 oz). Drupes are in pairs or groups of three, and each contains three triangular seeds. The drupes are juicy and very high in vitamin C and other nutrients. They are divided into three obscure lobes and are usually acid to subacid, giving them a sour taste, but may be sweet if grown well.

The fruit is edible and widely consumed in the species' native area, and is cultivated elsewhere for its high vitamin C content. There is 1677.6 mg of vitamin C in 100 g of fruit.

In the 1950s, a manufacturer of baby food decided that apple juice was milder for infants than orange juice. The company claimed that a drop of acerola juice in an 8 oz. can of apple juice provided the amount of vitamin C of an equal amount of orange juice. A detailed nutrition facts analysis shows Acerola juice does contain 32 times the amount of vitamin C in orange juice (over 3000% as much), supporting the claim.

A comparative analysis of antioxidant potency among a variety of frozen juice pulps was carried out, and included the acerola fruit. Among the eleven fruits' pulps tested, acerola was the highest scoring domestic fruit, meaning it had the most antioxidant potency, with a TEAC (Trolox equivalent antioxidant activity) score of 53.2 mmol g.

Cultivars have been developed to improve growth of the plant, disease resistance, and the size and flavor of the fruits. Sweet cultivars include 'Manoa Sweet', 'Tropical Ruby', and 'Hawaiian Queen', while 'J.H. Beaumont', 'C.F. Rehnborn', 'F. Haley', 'Red Jumbo', and 'Maunawili' are sour cultivars. The cultivars 'A-1', 'B-15', and 'B-17' are recommended for Puerto Rico, while 'B-17' and 'Florida Sweet' are recommended for Florida.
Absolut Vodka released Absolut Los Angeles, a limited-edition spirit flavored with acerola, Açai, pomegranate, and blueberry, in July 2008.
Acerola flavour is also used in Tic Tac dragées.
In Vietnam, the most famous variety is from Gò Công district, Tiền Giang province.

Other uses
Acerola is a popular bonsai subject because of its small leaf, fruit and fine ramification. It is also grown as an ornamental and for hedges.

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