Our freeze-dried acerola powders are an amazing source of vitamin C obtained from pure fruit! The acerola cherry’s tangy flavor profile matches well with a variety of different fruits, which makes it a perfect ingredient for clean label formulations. In addition to the delicious flavor, small amounts of our acerola powders deliver good amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The acerola cherry exhibits an excellent nutritional profile and is one of the fruits with the highest amount of Vitamin C in Nature. Vitamin C is associated with collagen production and it plays a key part in strengthening the immune system. Besides Vitamin C, acerola also contains carotenoids, Vitamin A, B Complex Vitamins, dietary fibers, minerals and electrolytes, as well as polyphenolic compounds (ferulic acid, syringic acid, gallic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin and catechin).
Acerola powders have interesting functional properties for the food industry, like preventing fruit oxidation, improving color stability in fruit preparations and raw meat. It can be also used as a clean label substitute to the dough rising synthetic ascorbic acid in baking applications.
Not All Acerola Powders Are Made in the Same Way!
Different acerola powders are available in the market. Not only is there the well-known conventional vs organic differentiation, but there are also three other major aspects to be considered: the degree of ripeness of the harvested cherries, how the concentrate is produced and, finally, how the concentrate is converted into a powder.
Cherry ripeness: as the cherries ripen, the sugar and overall flavor contents increase and the Vitamin C content decreases. So, there is a compromise between functionality and flavor. A good balance between both is highly desirable in producing an acerola powder.
Cherry concentrate: in some processes, the cherries are depulped and then subjected to micro/ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis systems to ultimately enhance the Vitamin C content of the juice concentrate. The downside of this approach is that it also removes valuable nutrients like electrolytes and dietary fibers. Other processes will only depulp the fruit and concentrate it, so all the nutrients are maintained.
Drying process: The ultra-processed acerola cherry concentrate is the starting material for the downstream spray-drying process, which converts the concentrate into a powder. The vast majority of spray-dried acerola powders are processed with the aid of adjuvants (calcium/magnesium hydroxides) and excipients (maltodextrin).
There is a different drying technology: freeze-drying. It is a gentle dehydrating process which removes water from food at low temperatures, thereby preserving the nutrients, color, flavor and even the shape of the ingredients.
Your Acerola Powder Shopping Guide
If your application requires a minimal powder dosage (a soft capsule or a small tablet) you should consider options with higher Vitamin C content – 25% for instance. Will the 35% Vitamin C really make sense to you pricewise?
In case the amount of acerola powder is not limited in your application, then you will have a wide variety of products to choose from:
– when your application can profit from both the functionality & flavor profile of acerola cherries, we strongly recommend the ripe fruit powder, with its vibrant color and taste.
– when your application is primarily focused on the Vitamin C content, you should choose between the option derived from unripe fruits – 17% or 25% Vitamin C.
For those who are used to the spray-dried acerola powders such as the standard acerola powder (17%), we offer a variation with the same average 30% of no-GMO tapioca maltodextrin in the formulation – but freeze-dried instead!
A Unique Option: the 100% Organic Acerola Powder
To the best of our knowledge, there are very few acerola powders on the market which are 100% organic (NOP). As the freeze-drying process does not require any process adjuvant/filler for the dehydration of the concentrate, we offer acerola powders which are guaranteed 100% organic fruit!
It is definitely the ultimate solution for anyone interested in a clean-label ingredient that will deliver color, taste and functionality all at once!