Acerola or semeruco . Species of small shrub of the family Malpighiaceae and is the name that receives the fruit of it, which grows spontaneously in Central America , the Antilles and in the humid tropical areas of South America .


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
      • 1.1 Authors
    • 2 Synonymy
    • 3 Common name
  • 2 Origin and distribution
    • 1 In Cuba
  • 3 Features
  • 4 Composition
  • 5 Advantages
  • 6 Importance
  • 7 References
  • 8 Source
  • See Also


Scientific name

  • Malpighia emarginata DC. [1] [2] [3]


  • Candolle, Augustin Pyramus de
  • Published in: Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 1: 578. 1824. (Jan 1824 ) [4]


  • Malpighia berteroana Spreng.


  • Malpighia lanceolata Griseb.
  • Malpighia punicifolia var. Nied lancifolia.
  • Malpighia punicifolia var. Nied obovata.
  • Malpighia punicifolia var. Nied vulgaris.
  • Malpighia retusa Benth.
  • Malpighia umbellata Rose
  • Malpighia urens var. lanceolata (Griseb.) Griseb. [5] [6]

Common name

Acerola, semmeruco, Barbados cherry, country cherry, cherry, cherry. [7]

Origin and distribution

It is native to the Yucatan peninsula and has spread throughout the southern United States , Central America and South America , mainly in Venezuela , Colombia , Brazil and Ecuador ; Currently the largest plantations are in Brazil .

In Cuba


It has been located in Yateras , Guantánamo and near Palmira in the Cienfuegos province and is kept at INIFAT , Santiago de las Vegas . [8]


The leaves are elliptical, oval and domed, 2-10 cm long by 1-6 cm wide, with the obtuse or emarginate apex, dark green and shiny above and lighter at the bottom.

The flowers have five unguiculate petals, 6-10 mm long, four are the same and the fifth is larger and raised, being pink, purple or white, depending on the clone to be cultivated.

Its acidic fruits, with a red shell when ripe, are consumed in their natural form and serve to prepare a delicious sweet. There is a form of sweet fruit.


For every 100 grams of edible portion it contains: 91.1% of water; 0.68% protein; 0.6% fiber; 0.19% fat; 6.98% carbohydrates . It also provides 8.7 mg. Of calcium ; 16.2 mg of phosphorus ; 0.7mg of iron ; 480 IU of pro- vitamin A (beta carotene); 0.079 mg of thiamine ; 0.028 mg riboflavin ; 0.034 mg of niacin and between 2000 and 5000 mg of ascorbic acid ( vitamin C ).


Acerola juice contains a large amount of ascorbic acid and, compared to orange juice, it is superior in vitamin C concentration. Rigorous tests, the results of which have been published, indicate that acerola juice contains 80 times more vitamin C than the best variety of orange.



Although vitamin C is synthesized by most fruits and vegetables, it is easily lost by wilting, storing, drying, crushing, crumbling, cooling, and storing them. Acerola is of great importance as it has traditionally been used to prevent colds. Doctors and nutritionists always recommend the consumption of fresh foods rich in Vitamin C to prevent the appearance of these and other respiratory diseases. But it has also been given the use of fungicide (fights fungi), anti-inflammatory, anti-anemic, astringent and diuretic, however, the main characteristic is its high content of vitamin C.

This nutrient plays a decisive role in the synthesis of collagen, a protein with structural functions used to form the skin, tendons, gums, ligaments and blood vessels. Likewise, it is essential for wound healing and for the repair and maintenance of teeth, bones and cartilage.

Vitamin C is also necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, which is responsible for transmitting many of the nervous signals in our body; in addition, it plays an important role in fat metabolism as its presence is also necessary for the formation of L-carnitine, an important mobilizer of body fat. Vitamin C also helps correct iron deficiency anemia by increasing intestinal absorption of iron and improving serum levels of this mineral.

Thanks to its exceptional vitamin C content, acerola can be considered one of the foods with the highest antioxidant capacity found in nature. Let us remember that the function of antioxidants is to block part of the action of free radicals that are nothing more than toxic agents that damage our body structures, causing among other things premature aging and whose accumulation is responsible for the development of many chronic diseases -degenerative as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and even joint conditions such as arthritis.

The protective effects of vitamin C extend to inhibiting the formation of nitrosamines (potentially carcinogenic substances) in the stomach from other substances called nitrates that are present in certain foods such as deli meats.

Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an essential nutrient, so it is necessary to obtain it through food and / or dietary supplements.

We must not forget that there are also some situations in which the requirement for vitamin C is increased, such as women during pregnancy and lactation, consumption of oral contraceptives , stress and the practice of smoking .


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