Acai Berry Purees are better
Outside of Brazil, the closest you can get to whole berries is an Acai Puree. Separating the flesh of the berries from the seed and macerating it to a pulp is the first step all manufacturers take after harvesting. At this point, the resulting Puree retains nearly all the nutritional benefits of the whole berries.
Briefly heating the Puree and “hot bottling” or “flash pasteurizing” preserves all of the fiber, Omega 3,6, and 9 fats, and most of the antioxidents. The glass bottles required for this method do add to the cost, but have the added benefit of not leeching like all plastic bottles do. The two brands of that distribute an Acai Berry Puree, rather than a Juice, are listed below and are available in our store.
The problem with such a Puree is, it will not keep for 12 to 18 months in warehouses and on store shelves. So it is generally not available in supermarkets. Also, it is more expensive, so if you purchase it online, expect to pay more for Acai Puree than for an Acai Juice.
There are also some exciting new products based on purees, that combine multi-functional nutritional extracts to better target some of the specific benefits of Acai Berry such as immune support, stress management, enhanced energy and endurance, blood glucose support, weight management, anti-aging, cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Some of these new Acai Functional Fusions are:
Acai Juice brands
As mentioned above, An Acai Juice will not have the Omega fats, fiber and antioxident properties of an Acai Puree, but can still have some health benefits. You should just know that you are not getting the full benefit of the Acai Berry. Some of the popular options are below.
Monavie is heavily promoted by a strong MLM network. Each bottle of Monavie sells for around $40. And since it is not really Acai Juice, but a blend with 18 other, much less expensive juices, they have $20 left over to distribute to the people involved in pushing the product. I will admit that it does taste good. And apparently there are people with plenty of money out there that don’t mind spending a whole lot for very little health benefit. So, if you want a pretty bottle and some nice tasting juice for $40 a bottle, Monavie might be ok for you.
Supermarket brand Acai Juices
In general, supermarkets do not stock the best quality Acai Products, as they are forced to compete on price rather than quality. The bigger the brand name, the less expensive their product will be, and the less actual acai juice you will be getting.
In addition to the price wars the big brands must battle to find shelf space, they also demand a product that can sit in the warehouses and on the shelves for 12-18 months. Unfortunately, a whole Acai Puree that contains the pulpy fiber and omega 6 & 9 fats will not last that long.
So, they either â€œclarifyâ€ it, by straining out the pulp. Or, they freeze-dry the puree to powder, then â€œreconstituteâ€ it by adding water. This product is very stable and can even be called 100% Acai Juice, no matter how much water they add when reconstituting it. But it has almost none of the good omega fats and fiber, and much less of the antioxidents than Acai Puree. Then, to make more money, these mega brands often mix the juice with less expensive fruit juices. They end up with 10-20% acai in the finished product.
We do not mean to say that the Acai Juice you find in the supermarket is worthless. It is probably better for you than many other juices on the shelves. Just realize what you are getting. Some of the most commonly available brands are review below. I particularily enjoy the Bossa Nova.
For taste, this is my absolute favorite, hands down. Like a lot of their juices, they use purees for the Acai and Banana. So it has a nice thick texture. Like all the other retail brands, it’s not really an acai juice (check out the ingredients – water and apple juice first), and has a lot of calories. But is a nice choice to grab after a workout. $4 for 15 ounces.
Ingredients: Water, Apple Juice, Pomegranate Juice Concentrate, Acai Puree, Banana Puree, Red Grape Juice Concentrate, White Grape Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Soy Lecithin.
The Original Blend contains a mixture of: Organic Acai Puree, organic agave, organic lime juice and contains less than 0.5% of organic natural flavors, organic soy lecithin and citric acid. Although this product uses some puree, and therefore retains some acai omega fatty acids, amino acids and fiber, it is watered down quite a bit and contains less than 20% acai berry in the final product. They have several different flavors that are mixed with different fruit juices. Price is normally around $4.95 for 8 ounces
Ingredients: Organic Acai Juice, Organic Agave Organic Acerola Juice, Organic Blueberry Juice, Organic Pomegranate Juice, Organic Natural Flavors, Organic Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid.
The Original Flavor contains a mixture of: Wild-harvested Acai Juice, Organic Agave Nectar, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid. This is a clarified juice, so is lacking important acai nutrients such as omega fatty acids, protein (amino acids) and fiber. But it is not mixed with other juices, other than the Agave Nectar used as a sweetener. It is also less watered down than most supermarket brands, and tastes very nice! Is a bit more expensive than others at nearly $5 for 8 ounces.
V8 Acai Fusion
The 800 pound gorilla of juice brands is now jumping on the Acai Bandwagon! Of course, this is an Acai Juice in name only – just check out the ingredients below. It has a little reconstituted Acai “juice”, but is far less than 10% of the total. It doesn’t taste anything like Acai, but is probably a good choice to get for the kids because of that. And is very inexpensive at $7.99 for 46 ounces.
Reconstituted Vegetable Juice Blend (Water and Concentrated Juices of Purple Carrots, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes), Reconstituted Fruit Juice Blend (Water and Concentrated Juices of White Grapes, Apples, Acai, Blueberries, Limes), Contains Less than 2% of the Following: Plant Sterols, Natural Flavoring, Lemon Juice Solids, Malic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavoring (Contains Malic Acid), Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate).