Are All Acai Berry Supplements Created Equal?
Acai (ah-sigh-EE ) is a fruit that grows on the Acai Palm Trees in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. The Acai berry is small in size (smaller than a grape) and is dark purple in color. Acai is mostly seed, covered in a small amount of pulp. While Acai may be small in size it packs an amazing nutritional punch:
- The Acai Berry has 10 times the antioxidant power of red grapes
- The Acai Berry has double the antioxidant power of blueberries
- The Acai Berry has 10-30 times the anthocyanins of red wine
- Acai has been called the #1 Superfood by Dr. Perricone
- Acai is an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats and proteins
With the incredible nutritional profile of Acai Berries it should be no surprise that a number of Acai supplements have flooded the market. It should also be no surprise that the quality of these Acai supplements varies greatly.
Freeze Dried Acai – simply the best
There are cheaper ways to make Acai powder. There are quicker and Lost Mary easier ways to make Acai powder. However, the best way to make Acai powder is to freeze dry. The freeze dried process which Sambazon uses is low heat, introduces no carry agents and retains all the nutrients of the Acai berry. The freeze dried process starts with fresh Acai pulp that dried, frozen and turned into an Acai powder. One gram of Sambazon freeze dried power is equal to about 6 grams of fresh Acai berry. 100 grams of fresh Acai has an impressive antioxidant rating of 5,500 ORAC score but 100 grams of freeze dried Sambazon Acai powder has an amazing ORAC score of 34,000!So, when looking for an Acai supplement – make sure it is made with 100% Freeze dried Acai.
What about Spray Dried Acai supplements?
There is a much cheaper way to process Acai and make Acai supplements – it is called spray dried Acai. The Spray Dried process involves heating the Acai to high temperatures to remove the water and spraying the Acai with carries such as maltodextrin. To put it bluntly – spray dried Acai is a terrible idea! The first problem with the spray dried process is that it requires heating the Acai to very high temperatures. The problem is that the high temperatures kill off many of the nutrients in the Acai. The second problem is that the spray dried process involves using a carrier agents such as maltodextrin to dry the Acai. In the end, 40% of the “Acai powder” is actually maltodextrin. So, if you see a spray dried Acai supplement that claims to have 500mg of Acai per capsule – it probably only has 300mg of actual Acai per capsule.
Spray dried Acai powders, while cheap to buy, are vastly inferior to freeze dried Acai powders.
Can I just look for Maltodextrin on the label of Acai products?
You can look – but you will never find it! Since Maltodextrin is added during the manufacturing process, it technically does not need to be listed as an ingredient on the label. It is just a loophole in the FDA labeling laws, but since Maltodextrin is a product of the manufacturing process and not an “added ingredient” – it does NOT need to be listed on the label. If a Acai supplement does not say “Freeze Dried Acai” on the label – we would not recommend it.