BAOBAB FRUIT:
A Superfruit Packed With Vitamin C

Baobab fruit has already exploded onto the markets in Asia and Europe, and is a prime new ingredient for the US market, given its unique functional health properties. Baobab fruit has a citrusy flavor and boasts more vitamins and minerals than we typically find in oranges, bananas and even blackcurrants. In additional to its potent micronutrient profile, baobab has been confirmed to act as a prebiotic, and its high percentage of fiber by weight makes it a well-rounded ingredient for numerous food applications (see further below).

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION
Baobab fruit (Adansonia Digitata L.) grows natively in Africa . Some baobab fruit trees are reported to be up to 1000 years of age and often times the tree is referred to as the “Ancient Tree of Life”. The trunks can store greater than 30,000 gallons of water which help the trees survive long drought conditions. The fruit is found inside hard pods that hang upside down from the tree.

CULTURAL HISTORY
Traditionally, the baobab fruit is used to create a delicious, tangy health drink which is especially popular among pregnant women, children and the elderly. In various parts of East Africa, the dry fruit pulp is covered in sugary coating (usually with red coloring) and sold in packages as a sweet and sour candy called “umbuyu”.

The seeds are mostly used as a thickener for soups, but may also be fermented into a seasoning, roasted for direct consumption, or pounded to extract oil. The tree also provides a source of fiber, dye, and fuel. The dry pulp is either eaten fresh or used to add to gruels on cooling after cooking – a good way of preserving the vitamin contents. In Tanzania, it is added to aid fermentation of sugar cane for beer making.

Additional trivia about this fruit: Rafiki, in the Lion King, made his home in a Baobab Tree!

REGULATORY
Baobab Fruit was GRAS certified in 2009 (GRAS Notice No. GRN 000273).

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
1) Baobab Fruit Powder: Nutrition Facts

Component     Content
Antioxidants     > 650/g ORAC
Calcium     169mg/100g
Iron     0.9mg/100g
Potassium  2.7g/100g
Energy    > 1087kJ/100g
Total Carbohydrates      85.2g/100g
Protein     2.1g/100g
Fat  0.1g/100g
Total Dietary Fiber     43.9g/100g
Total Soluble Fiber      28.8g/100g
Total Sugar   33.1g/100g

2) High Vitamin and Mineral Content (compared to other commonly consumed fruits)

Calcium supports healthy bones and teeth, maintains regular muscle contractions, and blood clotting.
Vitamin C can help protect against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease and even skin wrinkling.
Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
Magnesium supports muscle/ nerve function, and bone strength.
Zinc is well known for its support of immunity.

3) Potent Source of Antioxidants
    •  Vitamin C
    •  Bioflavenoids
    •  Provitamin A

4) Prebiotic
The soluble fibers found in baobab fruit have been found to exert prebiotic effects (promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut) in vitro.

5) Gastrointestinal Aid
Traditionally used by African populations to support relief of diarrhea, dysentery, and constipation.

FOOD DEVELOPMENT BENEFITS
1) Natural excipient with good lubrificanting, binding-agent and diluting characteristics (it has been used in some studies as a hydrophilic excipient, for the preparation of paracetamol and theophylline tablets).

2) It also supports the creation of gel, acts as a thickening agent or a stabilizer, due to its soluble fiber content.

3) Acts as a natural preservative due to high Vitamin C, Potassium and Phosphorus content.

FOOD APPLICATIONS
    •  Bodybuilding/fitness supplements
    •  Vitamin/mineral formulas
    •  Smoothies, fruit juices, and powdered drinks
    •  Breakfast cereals and cereal bars
    •  Ice creams, yogurts and dairy products

According to some suppliers, 100ml drink will require one teaspoon (4.6 grams) of baobab. Adding 50g of the powder to a gallon of juice would provide 25g fiber (19g of which is soluble fiber), 990 mg of potassium (32% of DV) and 73 mg of magnesium (23% of DV). “More dense liquids such as smoothies, yogurt, ice cream or oatmeal can absorb higher levels. As for energy bars, the rule of thumb is 6g of Baobab powder per bar. It also works well in a yogurt coating,” states Stephan Broburg.

The shelf life of baobab fruit powder is 24 months. Harvest time for baobab is February; baobab is wild-harvested and as such cannot be certified organic, though in essence, it is. Finally, the product is sterilized by BI Nutraceuticals using our Protexx HP® steam sterilization.

MEDIA BUZZ
African Baobab Deposes Acai Berry as Reigning Superfood, Fast Company, 2010

Africa's Iconic Baobab—the Vitamin Tree, National Geographic, 2010

The Juicy Details, Baking Management, 2011