Acerola or Barbados cherry, Malpighia emarginata ou Malpighia glabra, is originally from Antilles region, Central and South America. Belonging to the Malpighiaceae plant family. It is harvested in shrubs or small trees. Acerola or Barbados cherry cultivation spread easily in tropical and sub-tropical regions due to its robust plant structure, making the Acerola or Barbados cherry a resistant plant, enduring even semi-arid weather conditions. The fruit is harvested usually between September and March.
The sudden Acerola or Barbados cherry popularity began in 1940, when Puerto Rican scientists discovered that the fruit contained up till 100 times more Vitamin C than the same pulp amount as an orange and lime; up till 20 times Vitamin C than a guava and up till 10 times more Vitamin C than cashew fruit and blackberries (according to Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco and WHO – World Health Organization).
Besides the high level of Vitamin C in Acerola or Barbados cherry, the fruit contains loads of other healthy nutrients like calcium, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1-B2-B3 and phosphorus.
World health organization establishes that eating 04 Acerolas or Barbados cherry per day is sufficient to enjoy the fruits healthy benefits. Besides immunity increase, the presence of all the fruit’s nutrients produces properties like astringent, antidepressant, antifungal, antioxidant, blood sugar regulation, digestive system regulation among others.
According to Google Trends Australia, Acerola is more often used in search parameters in Australia than Barbados cherry
Currently, there is a growing interest in the fruit for consumption in Australia based on google searching parameters.
The fruit is a small rounded red fruit (2-3cm diameter), with a lightly sweet acid flavour. It has a large amount of pulp per fruit being ideal for in natura consumption or juices. As a healthy beverage option, you can make incredible and delicious juices from Acerola fruit or Acerola pulp, solely or combined with almost any other fruits. You can make vitamins, jellies and mousses, still keeping the healthy vibe and enjoy all the powerful Acerola’s vitamins and nutrients. It can be found in capsules. Other healthy meals or healthy snacks options for Acerola include mousses and cakes; and can also be used as one ingredient in cereal or power bars.
There are countless options and recipes to use Barbados cherry fresh or in pulp, to produce delicious and healthy juices, desserts or snacks.
According to Embrapa (Brazilian government agricultural research center), you can storage Barbados cherry up to 12 months on your freezer, with irrelevant loss of nutritious properties. Embrapa is also conducting research based on the level of vitamins present in Barbados cherry based on the fruit’s lifecycle.