Location: Horticultural Crops ResearchTitle: Anthocyanins of acai products in the United States
Submitted to: NFS Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2019
Publication Date: 12/15/2019
Citation: Lee, J. 2019. Anthocyanins of acai products in the United States. NFS Journal. 14-15:14-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nfs.2019.05.001.
Interpretive Summary: Anthocyanins are important natural pigments that contribute to the appearance of fruit, and to the anticipated characteristics of many fruit products. Anthocyanin profiling by HPLC, as used in quality control of food ingredients, could increase quality assurance of dietary supplement components and their final products. Market available acai dietary supplements and processed food products (n=56) were purchased and analyzed for individual anthocyanins and content. Eleven (20%) of the products examined had problematic anthocyanin profiles; seven had no detectable anthocyanins (all were dietary supplements), and four had anthocyanin profiles inconsistent with natural ingredients (3 dietary supplements, 1 food item). As the acai dietary supplements averaged 0.75 mg of anthocyanin per serving, and the acai food products averaged 10.38 mg of anthocyanin per serving; on a per serving basis the foods averaged more than 13 times the anthocyanin concentration of the supplements. The overall anthocyanin content (in mg/100g or 100mL) of the acai products was lower than what can be obtained from fresh (or frozen) blackberries, black raspberries, or elderberries.
Technical Abstract: The numbers of commercial products containing acai fruit have been rapidly increasing in the US marketplace. Due to the acai palm’s climatic requirements, the acai fruit portions of these products are imported, even when manufactured within the US. This work was conducted to assess the anthocyanin profiles and concentrations of acai products (total n=56; dietary supplements n=37; food products n=19) available to US consumers. Eleven (20%) of the products examined had problematic anthocyanin profiles; seven had no detectable anthocyanins (all were dietary supplements), and four had anthocyanin profiles inconsistent with natural ingredients (3 dietary supplements, 1 food item). The remaining samples (n=45) ranged widely in anthocyanin concentration, from 0.74 to 336.70 mg/100g or 100mL (average of 42.00), or 0.004 to 80.45 in mg/serving (average of 4.60). That range represented a 450-fold difference in anthocyanin concentration by mass (or volume), and 20,000-fold difference when calculated by serving. The acai dietary supplements (average 0.75 mg/serving) were significantly lower in anthocyanin than acai food products (average 10.38 mg/serving) on a mg per serving basis, an over 13-fold difference. Acai product anthocyanin values (in mg/100g or 100mL) were overall lower than what can be obtained from fresh or frozen elderberry, black raspberry, or blackberry.