Main Season for Harvesting Acai Berries
I n tropical conditions, it takes about three to four years for the acai berry palm tree to bear fruit.(1) In the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, harvest season runs from December to August. The natives generally reap the harvest twice each year during that period. In sub tropical regions, harvesting is during the Fall season. In the United States, harvest time usually begins in September.(2)
In South America, acai berries have been harvested by hand for generations. The Amazon Rainforest is a flooded tidal area and there is no mechanized method to harvest acai berry. The natives have to climb the tree trunk which can grow to as high as 30 meters. At the top, the branched panicles containing the acai berries are chopped off and slowly brought to the ground. The berries are hand-picked and stored in baskets which are then shipped to drop-off points or transported to processing facilities for manufacturing. The natives keep about a third for their personal consumption. Today, entire villages are responsible for the mass production of acai berries and, with the ever increasing demand for this super fruit, acai berry farms have been established outside South America, particularly in tropical countries of southeast Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.(3)
Acai berries will spoil within twenty four hours of harvesting if they are not processed quickly. Special techniques should be used to store the harvested berries such as freeze drying and other flash cooling methods. During processing, once the pulp has been separated from the seed, it can be sold for a number of food dishes, popular in Brazil, or it can be freeze dried and turned into a powder form which can be used alone or as an additional component in health supplements. Such is the case at Natural Home Cures for our Freeze Dried Acai Berry Capsules and Natural Home Cures Mangosteen Acai Berry Soap.