Are All Acai Berry Supplements Created Equal?

by Dan Nessel - Date: 2007-01-31 - Word Count: 871 Share This!

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 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.

What about Acai Extracts - like 4:1 Acai Extract?

With herbal supplements, extracts involve isolating one element of the plant and extracting it. For example, with the coffee bean plant you may want to create a caffeine extract. This would involve isolating the caffeine in the coffee berry and extracting.

When it comes to Acai - extracts make no sense. The health value of the Acai berry comes from the whole fruit - so what exactly do you want to extract from the Acai berry? In truth, you want the whole Acai berry - not just an extract. The other issue with extracts is that almost all are made from spray dried Acai. The only thing worse than spray dried Acai is an extract of spray dried Acai. It should then come as no surprise that the ORAC value of Freeze Dried Sambazon Acai has tested 50 times as high as that of spray dried Acai extracts. Don't let phrases like "4:1" and "super concentrated extract" fool you. You want all the nutrients of the whole Acai berry, and you can only get this in freeze dried Acai powder.

Does it matter which company makes the Acai powder?

Yes, yes and YES! As we have discussed, Acai is highly perishable, so you want to make sure the company making the Acai powder is using fresh Acai berries. After all, the best freeze drying techniques really don't mean much if you start with spoiled Acai berries! You also want a company with strong relations with the indigenous people of the Amazon who will be picking the Acai berries.


It is clear that not all Acai supplements are created equal. The highest quality Acai supplements will be made with Sambazon freeze dried acai. Spray dried and "extract" Acai supplements should be avoided at all costs. Ideally, you want to buy an Acai supplement that just contains 100% freeze dried Acai in a capsule. Sometimes the best things in life are also the simplest.

Related Tags: health, antioxidants, diet, amazon, anthocyanins, acai, juice, orac, smoothies, brazil, acai berry, smoothie, acai berries, acai fruit, sambazon, rainforest, rain forest

Dan Nessel is a health and diet who is addicted to the Acai berry. When Mr. Nessel is not eating Acai, he works as a researcher for PowerSupplements.Com . PowerSupplements provides detailed articles on Acai and other supplements. Read more articles at - Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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