History of CamuCamu (Myrciaria Dubia)
Camu Camu is the common name for Myrciaria dubia - a small Amazonian fruit that has the highest vitamin C content of plants in the world. The main cultivation area is located near the Peruvian border with Brazil, where the shrubby tree of 2-8 meters high thrives in the swamps and floodplains of the rainforest. The center of origin seems to be located between the lakes Sahua and Supay, both tributaries of the river Ucayali, near the Jenaro region in Peru. The watery habitat of the plant means that the fruit is an ideal source of food for fish. They help in the spread of this crop. The name Camu Camu probably comes from the "Camu" sound that fish make when they pick the floating fruits from the water surface.
The fruit itself is between 10-12 millimetres in diameter and has a fleshy and soft texture. The colour can vary from reddish-brown to dark purple, a result of the high concentration of anthocyanins (natural dyes) in the skin. The inside of the fruit consists of a yellow pulp and usually contains two seeds. There is no historical evidence that indigenous Amazons were aware of the power of these super berries, it was only in 1957 that the Peruvian Ministry of Health performed the first nutritional analysis of the fruit. This analysis established that the fruit contains more vitamin C than any other known vegetable source.
Because of its sour taste, the Camu Camu fruit is usually not eaten loose. In South America, the pulp is traditionally blended into a naturally sweetened juice, and since the benefits of the fruit have become known, it is popular use to sprinkle it on ice, jam and yoghurt.
Processing camu camu berries to powder
Camu Camu is a very productive species. In the wild 9.000 to 12.000 kg of fruit per hectare has been delivered. The growth period of the fruit is usually between November and March. It is a resilient plant, it adapts well to its environment.
Peru harvests 6760 tons of fresh fruit per year and many new trees are planted as part of a reforestation initiative of the Peruvian government. They do this to support the continued growth of the export market and to help the local population maintain their way of life.
Our Camu Camu is harvested directly with canoes during Peru's rainy season - a challenging process because the land is flooded and many of the fruits are submerged. At our supplier's collection centre, all the fruit undergoes careful inspection and is washed by hand before being peeled and pressed. The crushed Camu fruit is then placed in a custom-designed drying machine, which slowly extracts moisture at a constant temperature below 45°C. The dried Camu Camu fruit can then be ground into a fine powder, which is carefully tested before packing to ensure that it is free of all potentially harmful microbes.
Camu Camu powder which we sell is therefore of the highest possible quality.
Healthy properties of Camu Camu
The main advantage of the fruit is the high content of vitamin C. Because of the complex combination of other natural vitamins, minerals and nutrients, vitamin C is better absorbed by our body.
Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining health. It contributes to collagen formation for the normal function of blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums, skin and teeth, the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
Our Camu Camu powder can be mixed with fruit juice or mixed in smoothies to add concentrated vitamin C to your diet.