Theobroma grandiflorum), also spelled cupuassu, cupuazú, cupu assu, and copoasu, is a tropical rainforest tree related to cacao. Common throughout the Amazon basin, it is widely cultivated in the jungles of Colombia, Bolivia and Peru and in the north of Brazil, with the largest production in Pará, followed by Amazonas, Rondônia and Acre.
Cupuaçu trees usually range from 5 to 15 meters in height, though some can reach 20 meters. They have brown bark. Their leaves are 25–35 cm long and 6–10 cm across, with 9 or 10 pairs of veins. As they mature, their leaves change from pink-tinted to green, and eventually they begin bearing fruit. Cupuaçu fruits are oblong, brown, and fuzzy, 20 cm long, 1–2 kg in weight, and covered with a thick, hard exocarp.Fruit:
The white pulp of the cupuaçu is uniquely fragrant (described as a mix of chocolate and pineapple), and It is frequently used in desserts, juices and sweets. The juice tastes primarily like a pear, with a hint of banana. Cupuaçu is touted as a possible superfruit flavor Commercial production of cupuaçu includes food supplements, pills, drinks, smoothies and sweets. The pulp is also used in cosmetics products such as body lotions, as it is highly hydrating, similarly to cocoa butter.
Its flavors derive from its phytochemicals, such as tannins, the sulphated flavone glycosides theograndins I and II, and other flavonoids, including catechins, quercetin, kaempferol and isoscutellarein.
It also contains the alkaloid theacrine instead of the xanthines (caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline) found in cacao.Wood products:The wood is also commonly used for timber.
Health Benefits and uses of Cupuaçu:
The fruit contains 11 known flavanoids, at least 9 antioxidants, and claims to lower blood pressure and improve circulation.
It contains high levels of phytonutrients which add to its powerful antioxidant properties.
The cupuaçu fruit is also rich in the types of fatty acids that support a healthy cholesterol level.
The fiber content of the cupuaçu is high and it also contains the B vitamins as well as vitamins A and C.
Cupuaçu fruit has also been linked to providing a healthy immune system (vitamin C) and healthy-looking skin. Others claim it increases stamina and libido while naturally providing jitter-free energy since it contains theacrine instead of the xanthines (caffeine) found in cacao.
The pulp, which hydrates similarly to cocoa butter, is also used in cosmetic products such as body lotions and facial creams.
For centuries, cupuaçu seeds were traded along the Rio Negro and Upper Orinoco rivers the indigenous people drank cupuaçu juice after it was blessed by a shaman to facilitate difficult births.
The “beans” are utilized by the indigenous Tikuna people for abdominal pains.
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