Baobab, a fruits that looks like coconut, that has twice as much calcium as milk and is very high in anti-oxidants, potassium and iron. This will not be sold as a Whole fruit as the shell is too hard to crack open, instead it will be available in cereal bars and smoothies. The fruit had not been permitted into UK because of legislation that prevents the importation of food which has not been commonly consumed in the EU before 1997. The baobab fruit won approval following heavy lobbying from PhytoTrade Africa, an organization which promotes fair trade.
Gus Le Breton, chief executive of PhytoTrade Africa, saidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ “The EU decision is a crucial step to developing the global market which could be worth up to Ã‚Â£500 million a year.” Baobab is a perfect ingredient for cereal bars and smoothies, and its well documented nutritional benefits offer manufacturers with a new opportunity to target the booming market of healthy foods. “Dozens of companies have shown interest in baobab since we submitted the application and many have already conducted initial research. Now that approval has been given, they can progress to full-scale product development.”
In its native Africa the white powdery pulp has provided health benefits for generations. The baobab (or upside-down tree, as it is also known) is fiercely guarded by villagers who allow only specially trained children to climb up its branches to collect the fruits.