Hey everyone! The Cerrado savanna is not called the most biodiverse savanna in the world for no reason. It has many wild fruits being researched and yet to have their potentials unveiled to the world, just like baru seeds. Check these out:
Cagaita (Eugenia dysenterica)
With a citric flavour, cagaita fruits are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium. They also possess the highest proportion of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids known in a fruit.
One of its scientific names comes from the fruits being highly fermentable – they can have laxative effects if exposed under the sun for a couple of hours after picked.
Pêra-do-campo/Cerrado pear (Eugenia klotzschiana)
The Cerrado pear is a wild fruit with an incredibly high concentration of fibre, iron, copper, manganese and good amounts of many other minerals, such as zinc and magnesium.
The extract from its leaves and flowers has strong antibacterial and antioxidative properties, but research is still in its infancy.
Pequi (Caryocar brasiliense)
This oily fruit has high concentrations of antioxidants and vitamin A and is a very traditional cooking ingredient amongst locals.
Its oil extract has shown many potential uses: as a cocoa butter substitute and zero trans fat product, and as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplement for endurance athletes and cancer patients.
Cereja-do-cerrado/Cerrado cherry (Eugenia calycina)
The cerrado cherry has barely been studied academically but is also traditionally eaten all over the Cerrado by the locals, being high in Vitamin A.
Recent research shows that bark and leaf extracts have strong antibacterial properties and have a high pharmaceutical potential.
Mama-cadela (Brosimum gaudichaudii)
This berry is particularly promising! A lot of research has proven its potential on the treatment of vitiligo and its extract also has tremendous activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Research on it is still in its infancy, as science has recently reached a new low in its priority regarding funding in Brazil.
Like baru seeds, all these fruits and many others support local foraging communities in the Cerrado. They all could become extinct soon if no action is taken on current deforestation trends.