Cocoa Fruit (Cacau)
Native to the Amazon region, the cacau tree (Theobroma cacao) has long been of extreme importance both for its nutritious fruit, for the production of chocolate, and for its social value, since the cocoa bean was used as a means of exchange prior to the European colonisation of South America.

The golden-red to purple cacau pods grow on a tree that bears fruit all year round. The natives of South America traditionally fermented cacau juice to make a type of wine.

Following recent improvements in technology and cold logistics in the Amazon region, the appeal and consumption of cacau pulp has broadened considerably, with the growing market for this fruit providing a much needed boost to the region’s impoverished economy.

In Brazil, cacau juice is considered regarded as being especially beneficial for children owing to its high content of calcium, vitamins A and B complex, and proteins. In general it is considered a fortifier and stimulant, as well as a revitalizing and energy promoting food. In addition, cacau also contains a high level of pectin (found typically in some fruits and vegetables such as apples). This soluble fibre is highly beneficial for health, since it acts to limit the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs thereby controlling the level of cholesterol accumulation in the bloodstream.

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