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Acai berries

Açaí berries

About Açaí Edit

The fruit, a small, round, black-purple drupe about 1 inch (25 mm) in circumference, similar in appearance but smaller than a grape and with less pulp, is produced in branched panicles of 500 to 900 fruits. Two crops of fruit are produced each year. The fruit has a single large seed about 0.25–0.40 inches (7–10 mm) in diameter. The exocarp of the ripe fruits is a deep purple color, or green, depending on the kind of açaí and its maturity. The mesocarp is pulpy and thin, with a consistent thickness of 1 mm or less. It surrounds the voluminous and hard endocarp, which contains a seed with a diminutive embryo and abundant endosperm. The seed makes up about 80% of the fruit (Schauss, 2006c).

The berries are harvested as food. In a study of three traditional Caboclo populations in the Brazilian Amazon, açaí palm was described as the most important plant species because the fruit makes up a major component of their diet, up to 42% of the total food intake by weight.

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