Cupuacu (cupuaçu, cupuassu, cupuazú, cupu assu or copoasu), Theobroma grandiflorum, is a tropical fruit from the amazon region. Its tree is known as “cupuaçuzeiro”, “cupuaçueiro” or “cupu”, and can be found in the northern region of Brazil, in states like Amapá, Pará and Amazonas. Small medium sized tree can reach over 20 meters tall, it is well adapted to shadowy areas, which allows cultivation combined with other species (usually taller trees).
The fruit is long-shaped, heavy and has a rough “shell” that protects a white pulp inside. Its main harvest period in Brazil is from January to May. Cupuacu is from the same family of the Cacao fruit, hence their similarity.
Rich in proteins, calcium, phosphorus, minerals, vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, it also contains pectin, a soluble fiber that helps regulate bowel movements and water absorption.
There are several scientific studies, not only in Brazil, analyzing the usage of the seeds and pulp in the treatment of several gastrointestinal illness. These researches are also studying the usage of cupuacu as an antioxidant and the basis of the development of cosmetic products.
The fruit is largely used in cooking recipes due to its sweet, sour, acid and bittersweet flavours by native Amazonian communities.
If you haven’t heard or lack information about cupuacu, try out innumerous options based on this healthy fruit! Due to its sweet-acid flavors, cupuacu is used in ice cream, juices, vitamins, creams, jellies, non-alcoholic wines, liquors, chocolate candies, cupulate (cupuacu chocolate) among other dishes were it can figure as a “side dish option” or “complementary ingredient”.
I is also used for cosmetic purposes. Cupuacu’s butter, extracted from its seeds, is a triglycerides with a balanced composition of saturated and unsaturated fat acids. It is mainly used as an emollient cream base in cosmetics, due to its soothing “touch properties”. Cupuacu is being used by the cosmetic industry to recover dried skins, treating dermatitis and skin healing process.
Since the year 2008, Cupuacu was recognized as a “typical and legitimate Brazilian fruit”. Asahi Foods lost its patent for Cupuacu.