Origin :It belongs to the family of Sterculiaceae which grows wild in the Amazon rainforest and known to be cultivated in the jungles of Colombia and Peru.
Cupuacu fruit is oblong, fluffy and brown in color which is about 8 inches long and weighs between 1 to 2 kg. It is covered with a hard exocarp which is 4 to 7 mm thick. The pulp of the fruit is very fragrant and smells like banana.
Cupuacu fruit is rich in antioxidants, vitamins B1, B2, B3, amino acids. Apart from this, there are other ingredients in the nutritional content of this fruit such as calcium, selenium etc. Cupuacu juice contains the fresh juice contains 10.91 percent brix, 20.89 percent amino acids, 22.97 percent vitamin C per mg and 2.98 percent reducing sugars, and that the pH is 3.3.
Cupuacu was traditionally used by indigenous people to alleviate abdominal ache which helps in tough births.
Apart from this, it also aids in skin rejuvenation, healthy hair, weight loss, protecting artery partitions, strengthening cardio vascular system, elevated energy and stamina, boosting the immune system etc.
It is also helpful in curing diabetes, cataract problems and coronary heart diseases.
Cupuacu is often compared to acai. There are two major differences between these fruits. But cupuacu is better than acai.
Comparison between Acai and Cupuacu
Acai, when picked, loses most of its vitamins and antioxidants.
Cupuacu is a melon-type fruit whose skin is comparatively thick. Hence there will be no nutritional loss when picked.
Acai is a well known fruit and has had many hucksters and sellers.
Cupuacu trees produce more fruit per tree than Acai.
This has generated less-than-organic methods for its cultivation.
But since cupuacu is outside of South America, it is not exposed to hucksterism and its sources are natural and organic.
Though these fruits have differences, they are combined into juice drinks for sale.
Scientists in Brazil analyzed both the fruits and concluded that acai has less-concentrated vitamins, anti-oxidants etc than cupuacu.
The pulp occupies one-third of the fruit and is used in making fresh juice, jam, tarts and ice cream. It is also cosmetic products such as body lotions which reduces the signs of aging and makes you look younger. It is discovered that Cupuacu is the only fruit that contains a unique compound called polyphenol which has never been seen before in Amazon rain forest.
In earlier times, the seeds of Cupuacu fruit were traded along the Rio Negro and Upper Orinoco rivers where the tribes living there cupucacu juice after it has been blessed by a Shaman to facilitate difficult births. It is also often used as a pain killer. In rain forest regions, the seeds of the fruit are dispersed by birds and monkeys which feast on the pulp of the fruit.
The fruit ripens during the rainy season from January to April. It is a popular fruit in South American cities where demand surpasses supply. Cupuacu fruit grabbed the attention of many westerners when a Japanese country attempted to trademark the name of this fruit. Hence Brazil declared cupuacu as their national fruit and made the name ineligible for trademark.