Malpighia emarginata

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Malpighia emarginata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Malpighia
Species: M. emarginata
Binomial name
Malpighia emarginata
DC.
Synonyms[1]
  • Malpighia berteroana Spreng.
  • Malpighia lanceolata Griseb.
  • Malpighia punicifolia var. lancifolia Nied.
  • Malpighia punicifolia var. obovata Nied.
  • Malpighia punicifolia var. vulgaris Nied.
  • Malpighia retusa Benth.
  • Malpighia umbellata Rose
  • Malpighia urens var. lanceolata (Griseb.) Griseb.
Acerola, (West Indian cherry), raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 134 kJ (32 kcal)
Carbohydrates 7.69 g
- Dietary fiber 1.1 g
Fat 0.3 g
Protein 0.4 g
Vitamin A equiv. 38 μg (5%)
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.02 mg (2%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.06 mg (5%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.4 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.309 mg (6%)
Vitamin B6 0.009 mg (1%)
Folate (vit. B9) 14 μg (4%)
Vitamin C 1677.6 mg (2021%)
Calcium 12 mg (1%)
Iron 0.2 mg (2%)
Magnesium 18 mg (5%)
Manganese 0.6 mg (29%)
Phosphorus 11 mg (2%)
Potassium 146 mg (3%)
Sodium 7 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.1 mg (1%)
Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Malpighia emarginata is a tropical fruit-bearing shrub or small tree in the family Malpighiaceae. Common names include acerola (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐse̞ˈɾɔ̞lɐ]), Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry[2] and wild crepe myrtle.[3] Acerola is native to South America, southern Mexico, and Central America, but is now also being grown as far north as Texas and in subtropical areas of Asia, such as India. It is known for being extremely rich in vitamin C, almost as much as camu camu, although it also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3, as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, which provide important nutritive value and have antioxidant uses.[4] The vitamin C produced by the fruit is better absorbed by humans than synthetic ascorbic acid.[5]

Distribution[edit]

M. emarginata is originally from Yucatán, and can be found in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, South America as far south as Peru, and the southeast region of Brazil, and in the southernmost parts of the contiguous United States (southern Florida[6] and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas).[7][6][8] In Florida, it can be grown in protected locations as far north as Cape Canaveral.[9] It is cultivated in the tropics and subtropics throughout the world, including the Canary Islands, Ghana, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, India, Java, Hawaii, and Australia.[10]

Adaptation[edit]

Acerola can be propagated by seed, cutting, or other methods. It prefers dry, sandy soil and full sun, and cannot endure temperatures lower than 30°F. Because of its shallow roots, it has very low tolerance to winds.

Description[edit]

Acerola is an evergreen shrub or small tree with spreading branches on a short trunk. It is usually 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) tall, but sometimes reaches 6 m (20 ft) in height.[11]

Close-up of the blossom and unripe fruit

Leaves[edit]

The leaves are simple ovate-lanceolate, 2–8 cm (0.79–3.15 in) long, 1–4 cm (0.39–1.57 in), and are attached to short petioles. They are opposite, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, and have entire or undulating margins with small hairs, which can irritate skin.

Flowers[edit]

Flowers are bisexual and 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) in diameter. They have five[11] pale to deep pink or red[12] fringed petals, 10 stamens, and six to 10 glands on the calyx. The three to five flowers per inflorescence are sessile or short-peduncled axillary cymes.[11]

Fruit[edit]

Semeruco (Malpighia emarginata)

After three years, trees produce significant numbers of bright red drupes 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) in diameter with a mass of 3–5 g (0.11–0.18 oz). Drupes are in pairs or groups of three, and each contains three triangular seeds. The drupes are juicy and very high in vitamin C (3-46 g/kg)[13] and other nutrients. They are divided into three obscure lobes and are usually acidic to subacidic, giving them a sour taste,[11] but may be sweet if grown well.[14] While the nutrient composition depends on the strain and environmental conditions, the most common components of acerola and their concentration ranges, per 100 g, are: proteins (2.1-8.0 g), lipids (2.3-8.0 g), carbohydrates (35.7-78 g), calcium (117 mg), phosphorus (171 mg), iron (2.4 mg), pyridoxine (87 mg), riboflavin (0.7 mg), thiamine (0.2 mg), water (906-920 g) and dietary fibre (30 g)[4]

Uses[edit]

As food[edit]

The fruit is edible and widely consumed in the species' native area, and is cultivated elsewhere for its high vitamin C content. There are 1677.6 mg of vitamin C in 100 g of fruit.[2] The fruit can be used to make juices and pulps, vitamin C concentrate,[5] and baby food,[15] among other things.

A comparative analysis of antioxidant potency among a variety of frozen juice pulps was carried out, including the acerola fruit. Among the 11 fruit pulps tested, acerola was the highest-scoring domestic fruit, meaning it had the most antioxidant potency, with a Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity score of 53.2 mg.[16]

Absolut Vodka released Absolut Los Angeles, a limited-edition spirit flavored with acerola, açai, pomegranate, and blueberry, in July 2008.[17]

Other uses[edit]

Acerola is a popular bonsai subject because of its small leaf, fruit, and fine ramification. It is also grown as an ornamental[18] and for hedges.[10]

It is one of three ingredients in a proprietary herbal medicine for allergic rhinitis.[19]

Ecology[edit]

M. emarginata is a host plant for the caterpillars of the white-patched skipper (Chiomara asychis),[20] Florida duskywing (Ephyriades brunneus),[21] and brown-banded skipper (Timochares ruptifasciatus).[22] Larvae of the acerola weevil (Anthonomus macromalus) feed on the fruits, while adults consume young leaves.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". 
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Paul D. (2003). "Acerola (Malpighia glabra L., M. punicifolia M. emarginata DC.) Agriculture, Production, and Nutrition". In Artemis P. Simopoulos; C. Gopalan. Plants in Human Health and Nutrition Policy 91. Karger Publishers. pp. 63–74. ISBN 978-3-8055-7554-6. 
  3. ^ "Malpighia glabra L. wild crapemyrtle". PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  4. ^ a b Mezadri T, Villan˜o M, Fernandez-Pachon M, Garcia-Parrilla M, Troncoso A (2008). "Antioxidant compounds and antioxidant activity in acerola(Malpighia emarginata DC.) fruits and derivatives". Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 21 (4): 282–290. 
  5. ^ a b De Assis S, Fernandes F, Martins A, Oliveira O (2008). "Acerola: importance, culture, conditions, production and biochemical aspects". Fruits 63: 93–101. 
  6. ^ a b "Malpighia emarginata DC.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1998-05-18. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  7. ^ "Malpighia glabra L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  8. ^ "Barbados Cherry, Mexican Myrtle, Manzanita, Cerez, Huacacote, Wild Crepe Myrtle, Manyonita, Cerezo de Jamaica, Cerezo de Castillo, Pallo de Gallina, Escobillo, Chia, Arrayncito, Xocat, Xocatatl Malpighia glabra". Benny Simpson's Texas Native Shrubs. Texas A&M University. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  9. ^ Boning, Charles (2006). Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 41. 
  10. ^ a b Hanelt, Peter (2001). Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops (Except Ornamentals). Springer. pp. 1127–1128. ISBN 978-3-540-41017-1. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Malpighia glabra L. Malpighiaceae" (PDF). Agroforestree Database 4.0. World Agroforestry Centre. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  12. ^ National Geographic (2008). Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World's Food Plants. National Geographic Books. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-4262-0372-5. 
  13. ^ Vendramini T, Tugo L (2000). "Chemical Composition of acerola fruit (Malpighia punicifolia L.) at three stage of maturity". The Food Chemistry 71: 195–198. 
  14. ^ Nugent, Jeff; Julia Boniface (2004). Permaculture Plants: a Selection (2 ed.). Chelsea Green Publishing. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-85623-029-2. 
  15. ^ Clein N (1956). "Acerola juice—The richest known source of Vitamin C: A clinical study in infants". The Journal of pediatrics 48 (2): 140–145. 
  16. ^ Kuskoski EM, Asuero AG, Morales MT, Fett R (2006). "Wild fruits and pulps of frozen fruits: antioxidant activity, polyphenols and anthocyanins". Cienc Rural 36 (4 (July/Aug)). 
  17. ^ "Absolut unveils Los Angeles ‘flavour’". POPSOP.com. 2008-07-24. 
  18. ^ Gillman, Edward F. (October 1999). "Malpighia glabra". Cooperative Extension Services Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida. Retrieved 2009-12-16. [dead link]
  19. ^ Corren J, Lemay M, Lin Y, Rozga L, Randolph RK.,"Clinical and biochemical effects of a combination botanical product (ClearGuardTM) for allergy: a pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial." Nutr J. 2008 Jul 14;7(1):20
  20. ^ "White-patched Skipper Chiomara georgina (Reakirt, 1868)". Butterflies and Moths of North America. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  21. ^ "Florida Duskywing Ephyriades brunnea (Herrich-Schäffer, 1865)". Butterflies and Moths of North America. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  22. ^ "Brown-banded Skipper Timochares ruptifasciata (Plötz, 1884)". Butterflies and Moths of North America. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  23. ^ Ooi, P.A.C.; A. Winotai; Jorge E. Peña (2002). "Pests of Minor Tropical Fruits". In Jorge E. Peña; Jennifer L. Sharp; M. Wysoki. Tropical Fruit Pests and Pollinators: Biology, Economic Importance, Natural Enemies, and Control. CABI. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-85199-434-5. 

External links[edit]