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What Are Dried Acai Berries?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
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Dried acai berries are the made from the fruit of the acai palm tree. These fruits are dried so that they can be eaten year round and in parts of the world where fresh acai berries are unavailable. Acai berries are frequently eaten for their high levels of antioxidants and their potential health benefits. Freeze-drying is a common means of preserving them because the process locks in nutrients and flavor by eliminating the water from the fruit. Alternatively, the berries can be allowed to dry at room temperature or under moderate heat, which causes the berries to shrivel and maintain some of their water content.

In most cases, the only ingredient in dried acai berries are the berries themselves. These fruits come from a variety of palm tree known as the acai palm that is also cultivated for the flavorful and soft heart at the center of the tree. The fruit is technically a drupe, like an almond, rather than a true berry, though its small size has prompted many people to group it along with true berries, such as blackberries. The acai drupe is about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) long and is either dark purple or green.

Like fresh acai berries, dried acai berries contain high levels of antioxidants, which are known for their ability to promote good health, slow the aging process, and help increase the rate of weight loss. The high level of these chemicals in acai berries has led many people to call these fruits "super fruits," though scientists have not determined that acai berries have any health benefits that other dark colored fruits, such as blue berries, red grapes, or blackberries do not have. Regardless, fresh and dried acai berries are a healthy food.

Acai palms grown in the tropics, mainly in Central and South America, where they are native. Fresh acai berries are not available around the world, but there is a demand for dried acai berries among people who wish to receive the health benefits of these fruits. As long as the dried berries are not mixed with sugar, sulphur, or other preservatives, they are about as healthy as the fresh berries.

There are two main ways to dry acai berries. The first is by freeze-drying them, a process which is done at a very cold temperature and which forces the water out of the berries. Freeze-dried acai berries can be reconstituted with water. The other process is the typical fruit drying process which can be done in the sun, in a drying machine, or in another warm environment with good air circulation.

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