Açaí Berries grow on a tropical palm tree called the Assai Palm.
The tree grows 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 metres) tall, with leaves up to 10 feet (3 metres) long.
Açaí Berries have a very dark purple, almost black, skin. There is very little pulp inside; about 90% of the inside of the berry is taken up by the single large seed in the middle.
The berries aren't eaten fresh out of hand. Instead, they are pressed most often for pulp. The seeds can also be pressed for juice if they are soaked in water first to loose the thin shell on them.
The dark purple juice has a rich flavour, in which some people feel they can also taste tones of chocolate.
Açaí Berries have a very short storage life after picking, and don't ship well. Consequently, they go straight from picker to processor for products.
Brazil produces 85% of the world's supply of Assai pulp. It is also exported from Costa Rica, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru.
However, a University of California study challenged this , list the following "juices" from highest to lowest in anti-oxidant levels:
- Pomegranate juice
- Red wine
- Concord grape juice
- Blueberry juice
- Black cherry juice
- Acai juice
- Cranberry juice
- Orange juice
- Iced tea beverages
- Apple juice
It has no magic weight-loss properties, despite what celebrities say. 
Seeram NP, Aviram M, Zhang Y, Henning SM, Feng L, Dreher M, Heber D. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2008 Feb 27;56(4):1415-22. Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
 "The Center for Science in the Public Interest said companies offering free trials of diet pills made with the acai berries have bilked thousands of consumers using fake celebrity endorsements and blogs to lure customers. Claims of weight loss are unfounded, said the CSPI. There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that acai pills will help shed pounds, flatten tummies, cleanse colon, enhance sexual desire, or perform any of the other commonly advertised functions.." -- "Young, Saundra and Madison Park. Group challenges acai berry weight-loss claims. CNNHealth.com. 23 March 2009.
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