The FDA has approved the use of baobab fruit in foods and drinks, a year after a similar approval was granted in the European Union. The fruit, pictured above, is jockeying to become 2010′s superfood.
Will it reach the rockstar status of the acai berry?
What you need to know:
The baobab tree species is found in Africa, the island of Madagascar, and Western Australia. Its fruit has provided sustenance to native people for ages. The baobab fruit, known also as monkey bread or sour gourd, can be the size of a skinny watermelon, and has a distinctive tart flavor.
Although it can be consumed raw, the goal is to process baobab into a fine powder and import it to the US for use in shakes, energy bars, and other processed food products. The FDA GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status has actually been granted to the powder, not the whole fruit. It is called baobab dried fruit pulp.
The raw fruit is a nutrient powerhouse, setting the US consumer for a marketing campaign not seen since we first heard of acai berries a few years ago. It is rich in vitamin C and in calcium, iron, and magnesium, as well as many antioxidants.
What to do at the supermarket:
It will be a while before the first products hit the shelves, but keep in mind that sprinkling a bit of baobab powder into a candy bar will not magically change its properties. It’s still going to be a candy bar.
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