Like the acai berry a few years ago, cupuacu is starting to get a great deal of attention from the media, cosmetic companies and health and nutrition experts. The discovery of “new” superfruits are always newsworthy, and commercial companies are quick to use these foods in new products ranging from nutritional supplements to beverages to lip balms to anti-aging products. Many people just learning about cupuacu are wondering how to compare cupuacu vs. acai and what the differences are.
There are several important differences between them, which can be neatly broken down into nutritional content, cultivation and processing.
Cupuacu vs. Acai: The Nutritional Value
Both the cupuacu fruit and the acai berry are rich in vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidants. However, cupuacu has one of the highest concentrations of flavonoids, Vitamin C and essential fatty acids of any fruit or vegetable. This makes it a nutritional powerhouse. South Americans have been using cupuacu for ages for everything from stomach upset to pain to smooth and glowing skin.
Acai is a valuable fruit for its vitamin and antioxidant content, too. However, much of that nutritional value is compromised and/or lost once it is picked.
Most people have heard that it’s best to buy produce locally to get the best nutritional value. This isn’t just because of the damage and bruising that can occur in shipping, but because produce, especially thin-skinned produce, loses a great deal of nutritional value during the time between picking and eating.
Acai is a very thin-skinned berry and begins losing a lot of its vitamin and antioxidant content immediately upon picking. By the time it travels to wherever it is being processed, its nutritional content has diminished greatly.
Cupuacu, on the other hand, is a thick-skinned fruit with a husk similar to that of a coconut. Like other melon-type fruits, it retains most of its nutritional value for long periods after picking. For this reason, when it reaches a processing location or your home, it still has the vast majority of its nutritional value.
Cupuacu vs. Acai: Cultivation and Environmental Impact
Cupuacu can be grown in many sub-tropical environments, but it isn’t widely cultivated yet. It grows wild in the Amazon rain forests of Brazil and helps to support the ecosystem of indigenous trees and the Amazon soil.
However, acai is not grown wild in the areas where it is now found. Indigenous trees of the jungle and rain forests are being cut down in order to make room for the huge number of acai plants that are being cultivated to meet market demand. This has a very negative impact on the rain forests and other areas that are being exploited to grow acai.
Cupuacu vs. Acai: Processing and Purity
Cupuacu is just now gaining widespread attention in the global community. Because it’s relatively new to the marketplace, it hasn’t fallen victim to companies that exploit the name and reputation of the fruit, but use little of it in their products. Cupuacu is available freeze-dried, in beverages, in purees and jellies and in cosmetic products, all of them with a high content of cupuacu and a minimum of additives and fillers.
Unfortunately, acai has been overproduced and overhyped to the extent that many “acai” products contain very little of the pure fruit and a great deal of ingredients that are less effective or nutritious. Even in rare products where acai is the main ingredient, travel and processing time have diminished the value of the acai content.
While both fruits have value in your diet and your beauty products, cupuacu is absolutely the most effective, least compromised product and is also cultivated in a way that is much more environmentally and ecologically responsible.
Whether you purchase cupuacu in a body butter or as a nutritional supplement, you know that you are getting the purest product while leaving the smallest footprint on its natural habitat.
http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200603/000020060306A0020959.phpTags: Cupuacu, antioxidant, superfruits, acai berry