açaí

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açaí

(ä'säē`), tree, Euterpe oleracea, of the family Arecaceae (palmpalm,
common name for members of the Palmae, a large family of chiefly tropical trees, shrubs, and vines. Most species are treelike, characterized by a crown of compound leaves, called fronds, terminating a tall, woody, unbranched stem.
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 family) and its fruit, grown chiefly in Pará state in the Amazon region of Brazil. The trees can grow to 60 ft (18 m). the small, round, dark purple fruits are typically 1-2 in. (1.3 cm) in diameter. Initially collected from the wild, açaí is now cultivated on plantations; the tree and other trees in the genus Euterpe are also grown for hearts of palm. The pulp of the açaí fruit, botanically a drupe, or stone fruit, is often sweetened and frozen. An important part of the local diet for centuries, it has since 2000 enjoyed growing popularity as a dietary supplement. Although studies have shown that the fruit is a source of antioxidants, claims about specific health benefits are unproved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Phytochemical and nutrient composition of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleracea Mart.
Schauss, et al., "Antioxidant Capacity and Other Bioactivities of the Freeze-Dried Amazonian Palm Berry, Euterpe oleracea Mart .
Also known as the Amazon palm berry and still growing wild in the Amazon rain forest, acai has been used by Brazilians for thousands of years for its nutritional and healing properties.