The Differences in Quality of Acai Berry
I n order to get the highest quality of acai berries, you must get your hands on the fruit within 24 hours after they are harvested. Since this is quite unlikely unless you book a trip to the Amazon, you need to know the next best thing. The difference in the quality of acai berries is largely influenced by the processing methods employed by the manufacturing companies.
Inferior quality acai berry products are those loaded with as much as 50 percent fillers. To avoid such products, it is important to take into account how they were processed:
Pasteurized Acai: Acai berries have to be pasteurized to eliminate bacteria and other harmful microbes. Companies marketing unpasteurized acai berry products are ripping you off because the FDA requires the use of pasteurization, otherwise the amount of microorganisms will be too high and not ideal for human consumption. When pasteurization is done correctly at the appropriate temperature, it has a somewhat negative effect on acai berry.
Reconstituted Acai: This is acai berry powder that has been mixed with water, along with flavoring and some other additives. While the berries may still be beneficial, the presence of additives and preservatives make them no longer of an 'organic' nature. Another major drawback to the juice form is irradiation which is used to kill potential microorganisms present in the fruit. However, this process reduces the level of certain vitamins like thiamine. Moreover, irradiating can also cause chemical changes in food components that can eventually lead to the formation of mutagens such as hydrogen peroxide and various classes of organic peroxides.
Spray Dried Acai: This is by far one of the cheapest methods of processing used to produce an extract. The process requires the berries to be heated to extreme temperatures in order to get rid of all the water present. Unfortunately, heating destroys the anthocyanins, essentially rendering the product with little health benefits to offer. After heating, the residual berry is usually sprayed with maltodextrin, which ultimately makes up about 40 percent of the final product.
Concentrated Acai: The term sounds convincing but it is actually deceiving. Concentrated acai berry is also reconstituted and the health benefits are lost as the berries go through pasteurization and bottle sterilization. The anthocyanins can be destroyed by heat during the bottling process, unless the product was cold bottled. In addition, there are companies that incorporate sodium benzoate to further stretch the shelf life of their products which can result in the production of benzene which is a known carcinogen.
Acai Extracts: In this manufacturing technique, the biologically active components are extracted from a specific portion of the berries. It is not worth extracting from a single portion such as the pulp, seed, juice or stem because each facet of the berry offers a fractional benefit. Another problem with acai extracts is that they are mostly composed of spray dried acai berry powder. If the label indicates that the product is concentrated, the extract actually contains a lot of additives.
Freeze Dried Acai: In terms of quality, this is the ideal way to process acai berries. It may not be the cheapest nor the fastest technique, but it is highly effective in preserving the purity and freshness of the berries without adding any chemicals and artificial substances. It only requires minimal heat and no additives to dry and freeze the acai pulp and convert it into a powdered form. Freeze-drying also avoids the 'liquid-to-gas' transformation which destroys the nutritional content in the acai berries. Freeze drying is simply the best way to process the acai berry.
Outside of picking acai berries as soon as they are ready to harvest, the next best way to harness the optimal nutrients is to try our superior Natural Home Cures Freeze Dried Acai Berry Capsules.