Ingredient of the month: Açai
What is it? An antioxidant-packed botanical considered to be one of the richest nutritive fruits of the Amazon. Its small purple berries grow from a palm tree known to the Brazilians as ?the tree of life.?

Where does it come from? The Brazilian rainforest.

When was it discovered? For centuries, Açai has been a traditional food of the native people of the Amazon, but it wasn?t until 2000 that it was introduced to international markets by the California company Sambazon.

How is it beneficial? The dark purple skin contains 30 times the amount of anthocyanins as red wine, and with its remarkable concentration of antioxidants it can help combat premature ageing and promote cardiovascular health. In addition, Açai has a healthy dose of plant sterols, essential fatty acids and dietary fibre.

What can be done with it? It can be mixed with smoothies, integrated into bars or encapsulated into pills.

—Hazel Welch

 

Financial insights from NBJ

Annual supplements sales growth rate forecasts by product category, 2004-2010

Supplement category

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Vitamins

4.0%

3.5%

3.0%

2.9%

2.8%

2.7%

2.6%

Herbs/botanicals

-0.5%

-0.2%

0.1%

0.2%

0.3%

0.4%

0.5%

Sports nutrition

6.7%

6.4%

6.1%

5.9%

5.6%

5.4%

5.1%

Minerals

4.8%

4.6%

4.4%

4.2%

4.0%

3.8%

3.6%

Meal supplements

4.3%

4.6%

4.4%

4.2%

4.1%

4.0%

3.9%

Speciality/other

10.5%

10.0%

9.5%

9.0%

8.7%

8.4%

8.1%

Supplements Total

4.4%

4.3%

4.2%

4.1%

4.0%

4.0%

3.9%

Source: Nutrition Business Journal, Dietary Supplements Business Report, 2004 www.nutritionbusiness.com

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