Camu is most famous for its mega-C content-containing about 10 % or 30 to 60 times more vitamin C than an orange. Camu also contains a broad range of antioxidants, phytochemicals, amino acids, as well as many vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene and potassium. The powerful elements found in camu have a wide range of therapeutic effects. As a potent, whole food carrier of naturally occurring phytonutrients, camu’s nutrition is greatly superior to man-made pills (isolated forms) as it enables optimum utilization of nutrients within the body.
Camu has a broad range of health benefit claims.
- Pain and migraine headache relief
- Helps decrease Depression better than St John's Wort
- Supports brain function
- Weight loss
- Lowers blood sugar
- Supports the lymphatic system
- Supports the heart and improves circulation
- Effective against herpes cold sores, genital herpes, shingles, and Epstein-Barr
- Reduces Inflammation
- Increases Energy and stamina
- Helps decrease feelings of Depression
- Helps fight Gingivitis/Periodontal disease
- Increases Fertility
- Dr. James Duke, former chief botanist for the USDA, considers camu to be the top herb for asthma. In fact, he compared hundreds of botanicals and camu-camu was ranked #1 in effectiveness for asthma, atherosclerosis, cataracts, colds, gingivitis, glaucoma, hepatitis, infertility, migraines, osteoarthritis, pain, and Parkinson’s. Camu was also ranked #2 for depression, #4 as an antioxidant, and #6 as an antiviral.
- Spray-dried Camu-Camu pulp is a homogeneous pink powder with great antioxidant capacity, 52,000μmol TE/g, six times greater than freeze-dried açaí powder.
High in potassium (796.99mg/100g), carbohydrates (47.00g/100g), dietary fiber (19.23g/100g), lots of amino acids, other vitamins, and anthocyanins (0.739mg/g).
High in Quercetin. For every 100 grams of the fresh pulp, there is 400 mg. That’s a 0.4% concentration. The raw powder would be even higher since the water weight has been removed.
Highest natural source of vitamin C. About 20% ascorbic acid content.
The Camu-Camu spray-drying process is an alternative way of preserving the fruit, preserving its macronutrient and vitamin C contents. Camu-Camu is also an excellent source of other bioactive compounds, such as minerals and other phenolic compounds.
For fruits cultivated on terra Firme in the Amazon, the ideal ripening stage for harvest, as it presents an adequate balance of constituents of nutritional, organoleptic, and technological interest, was 104 to 113 days after anthesis. Due to the lack of synchrony in the fructification of Camu-Camu, fruit coloring is suggested as the most viable way of predicting the harvest point, that is, when the fruit is red in color. The harvesting of Camu-Camu is done manually, taking the utmost care not to damage the fruit. The harvest usually starts from September, extending until March/April of the following year, with two harvests per week. The fruits are ready to be harvested when in the semi-ripe stage, that is, they are red in color with a green part. At this stage, the fruits contain a higher concentration of vitamin C, in addition to being the most convenient stage for industrial use, as they present consistency, making it easier to pack and transport them over long distances. Once harvested, the fruits are placed in plastic boxes or crates 11cm highx50cm wide and 70cm long, to avoid crushing losses, and should be placed in the shade. To increase the shelf life of the fruit and improve its appearance, some precautions must be taken during harvest. Thus, spoiled fruit, insect bites or greens should be avoided. Therefore, all care must be taken during the harvest so that fruits with good fruit appearance and pulp color are obtained, ensuring good marketing prices (Figure 1).
Figure 1:Camu-Camu fruits.
The vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in Camu is different from other fruits already known in the world because it has excellent stability, in the storage process and/or in already processed products, such as ice cream, jelly, nectar and others. Unlike acerola, Camu-Camu fruit reaches maximum ascorbic acid when the fruit is ripe or when it turns red to red purple. This red color is anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant, which eliminates free radicals and prevents cancer. The Camu-Camu fruit showed spectacular antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits that have antioxidants , surpassing all of them, such as: açaí (Euterpe oleraceae), blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), apple (Malus domestica) and orange (Citrus sinensis L) and, was highest among other foods studied so far.