UK: Is achacha the new ‘superfruit’ fad?

First it was blueberries, then came Himalayan goji berries. Now health freaks have a new superfruit to slice over their granola or blend into a smoothie: the Achacha.


Originating from the depths of the Bolivian rainforest, the small orange-coloured fruit is set to colonise the open-plan kitchens of Islington and Notting Hill after being hailed as the best thing since sliced pomegranate.


Marks and Spencer, the first high street store to stock the fruit in Britain, has told shoppers it has a “sorbet-like texture” and comes from “the same family as the Mangosteen”. It says the soft fruit, which has a flavour similar to melon, is low in sugar and rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, potassium and Riboflavin which neutralise “free radical” molecules in the blood thought to contribute to ageing and illness.


Dietary gurus claim it can also benefit pregnant women because of its high levels of folate, a naturally occurring form of folic acid which promotes healthy blood cell formation and circulation. The Achacha has been used in traditional Bolivian medicine for centuries with its honey thought to contain healing properties, and the skin being rubbed on warts and other blemishes to reduce them. For balance, there is no scientific evidence linking consumption of the fruit to any particular health benefit.


Nevertheless, Marks and Spencer said it was “proud” to bring the fruit to the UK, and said it could follow the success of previous imports including “bubblegum plums, liquorice pears, tiny tangerines [and] giant strawberries”. Shazad Rehman, an M&S fruit buyer, said the Achacha is equally good when eaten on its own, sliced and added to a glass of sparkling wine, or as a “conversation starter” at a party. Shoppers are advised they can eat the Achacha at room temperature, cold or frozen and can use the skin to make a “thirst-quenching drink”. The easiest way of accessing the soft fruit inside is piercing the skin with a thumbnail and then squeezing the skin on each side to pop it open.


Although the fruit originates from Bolivia, those sold in Britain have been grown in Australia by a Bolivian farmer who cultivated the fruit after emigrating to the country. “We pride ourselves on innovation and being the first to bring new fruit and veg to the high street,” Mr Rehman said. “We’re already looking at what could be next.”


Sioned Quirke, a specialist dietitian and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said: “It is great to have another variety of fruit because the more variety the better, especially with fruit and vegetables. “But superfruits or superfoods do not really exist – every fruit or vegetable is a superfruit or supervegetable because they all provide us with different nutrients.”


Source: Telegraph

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