Ingredient Snapshot: CAIF has announced that its new acerola extract contains a minimum of 32 percent native vitamin C, with no added content. The acerola berry contains approximately 100 times more vitamin C than found in an orange, on an equal-weighted basis, giving acerola its “superfood” status.
“Vitamin C is essential to our metabolic processes, and our bodies don’t produce it, so it must be absorbed from foods,” said Cesar Fernandes, chief executive officer of CAIF. “As an antioxidant, vitamin C prevents free radicals from damaging our cells and causing inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, digestive disorders, and other adverse health effects. Plus, it’s also essential for the proper function of our immune system as it favors the production of cells which fight infections in our bloodstreams.
Approximately 65 percent of acerola berry use today is for health-oriented consumer products, such as supplements, beverages, and snacks. The balance of acerola berry use is in bakery, confectionery, and meat preservatives—mainly in hamburger and poultry meats—with its antioxidant properties. The total market for acerola extracts is valued at more than US$5 billion worldwide.
CAIF’s acerola powder extract, with a minimum 32 percent of vitamin C, is manufactured through a progressive concentration process that uses the fruit’s biomass as the carrier. “There is no better and cleaner alternative source of vitamin C on the market than our acerola powder extract,” said Fernandes.
When used as an ingredient, ascorbic acid—the scientific name for vitamin C—will help avoid food spoilage by oxidation, extending shelf life. It is used as a clean label additive in prepared meats, sauces, bakery, and confectionery products. It can be added to flours, fats, or proteins for enhanced preservation properties of doughs and creams.
Acerola is a fruit native to the tropical rain forests of South America—mainly Brazil—where it is commercially cultivated. In addition to its high vitamin C content, acerola has other essential nutrients. This has given it a leading role for nutritional supplements manufacturers and natural foods traders the world over.