Acerola (Malpighia glabra) or Acerolla, also known as Barbados cherry or wild crapemyrtle, is a tropical fruit-bearing shrub or small tree in the family Malpighiaceae. It ranges from southern Texas south through Mexico and the Caribbean to Peru and Bahia in Brazil. It is also cultivated in India. It grows to 3 m tall, with a dense, thorny crown. The leaves are evergreen, simple ovate-lanceolate, 5-10 cm long, with an entire margin. The flowers are produced in umbels of 2-5 together, each flower 1-1.5 cm diameter, with five pink or red petals.
In the 1950s, a manufacturer of baby food decided that apple juice was milder for infants than orange juice. The company claimed that a drop of acerola juice in an 8 oz. can of apple juice provided the amount of vitamin C of an equal amount of orange juice. A detailed nutrition facts analysis shows Acerola juice does contain 32 times the amount of vitamin C in orange juice (over 3000% as much) supporting the claim.
In Puerto Rico, the acerola is so prized that custom officials exercise considerable precaution to prevent exporting of acerola cuttings.
In July 2008, Absolut Vodka announced its second product in a limited-edition series, Absolut Los Angeles, with acerola used as one of a combination of four flavors for the spirit. Açai, pomegranate and blueberry are also used.
Acerola flavour is also used in Tic Tac dragées.
US Patent Issued to Nichirei Biosciences on May 3 for "Polyphenol Glycoside Isolated from Acerola" (Japanese Inventors)
May 10, 2011; ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 10 -- United States Patent no. 7,935,673, issued on May 3, was assigned to Nichirei Biosciences Inc....