When it comes to our food, health and well-being is what we, consumers, are increasingly looking for. And this includes natural ingredients, foods without artificial additives such as colouring, which, in addition to nourishing, deliver a plus, such as an extra portion of fibre, vitamins or antioxidants.
The pace of modern life, the pandemic and its countless aspects have affected the people’s quality of life, who are raising awareness about the importance of foods containing components that help to promote health, thus bringing an improvement in their nutritional status. And fruits are a good example of where we can find this extra bit of health.
Brazil is the third largest fruit producer in the world, only behind China and India. Among the native Amazonian fruits that present the greatest dynamics of production, sales and insertion in national and international markets are açaí (Euterpe oleracea) and cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum). Brazilian climatic conditions favour a great diversity of native tropical fruit species, such as buriti (Mauritiaflexuosa), a typical fruit from the cerrado, and camu-camu, which grows near rivers and lakes in the Amazon region.
Still not widespread among the population, camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a native fruit of the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon that has been attracting the interest of an increasing number of researchers due to its richness in components of interest to health. The great interest is mainly related to its highly varied composition, with expressive concentrations of bioactive compounds, which makes the fruit a promising raw material for healthy foods and food supplements.
Camu-camu is considered one of the most important sources of Vitamin C, containing up to 6000 mg/100g of fruit. If we compare with other fruits commonly known for their high Vitamin C content, such as acerola and orange, we have in 5.5 small camus-camus the equivalent, in Vitamin C, of 9 ripe acerola or 30 oranges (i.e., 3kg of Orange).
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