The up to 3 metre high Acerola shrub comes from Central America and Brazil. The bushes are grown in small plantations and harvested 3-4 times a year. The fruits are 1-3 cm in size, yellow-orange to red, have a very thin skin and are juicy sweet-sour to very sour. They look similar to cherries, although they are not related. With around 1700 mg vitamin C per 100 g fruit flesh, they have at least 30 times as much as the lemon.
As a natural source of Vitamin C, it is often combined with other valuable contents such as Acerola and is used in numerous areas of food production – be it as an additive in fruit juices, in dietary supplements or for refining sweets and ice-cream. The organic variant of the fruit powder is usually used in the organic baking industry to improve the properties of pastry. It is not possible to export the fresh fruit which is why it is mainly shipped as a juice concentrate, fruit puree or fruit powder. tropextrakt garantuees that the traded acerola powder has a 17 % concentration of ascorbic acid which delivers optimal process and product characteristics (hygroscopicity) with a view to subsequent processing. This promise implicates that the production process need to meet high demands.
Special requirements regarding the processing of Acerola
The special requirements start at the very beginning, the time of harvest. Only unripe acerola cherries have the expected, very high content of vitamin C. When ripening, the fruits get increasingly aromatic but the contained vitamin C decreases. On top, the unripe fruits have to be processed very fast after being harvested. They go bad very easily and are therefore not suitable to be traded as fresh fruits on longer distances. Suppliers that buy acerola juice of third parties to produce acerola powder include an additional hurdle for quality at this stage: If the juice wasn’t processed out of the unripe fruits early or fast enough, the vitamin C concentration will be reduced, which is than true also for the acerola powder that is generated on the next level. Also soiling could have happened on the previous stage and are then impossible to be removed. A problem on its own are “natural Vitamin C powders” in the market that are not 100% pure but contain synthetic substances at the same time.
100 % natural Vitamin C “Made in Brasil”
The brasilian firm Duas Rodas that is represented exclusively by tropextrakt in selected European countries, focused early on the optimized processes to produce acerola powder. Founded in 1925 by German emigrants, Duas Rodas ist today Latin Amerikas largest flavor house and FSSC-certified. In its own development department Duas Rodas had conducted comprehensive research on the characteristics of acerola powder and proved that the product abilities are minimum on a par with synthetic vitamin C in all relevant dimensions. The company met the special requirements of the processing of acerola by installing the manufacturing plant directly into the region of cultivation in the North-East of Brasil. This way, the acerola fruits don’t need to be transported a long way but are directly processed after harvesting. The method of processing – spray dried powdering – is very gentle and preserves the natural vitamin C concentration the best way.
At “vita foods Europe”, a fair that will take place 15. to 17. May 2018 in Genf, we will present our acerola powder with 100 % natural Vitamin C.
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