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February 12, 2007 14:17:08 | in agriculture

Peruvian Camu Camu fruit conquers Japan

(by Percy Takayama, translated by Wolfy Becker)

Camu camu fruit from Peru's Amazon(LIP-wb) -- Japanese consumer's first contact with the pleasantly flavored Amazonian fruit known as “camu camu” was in form of a refreshment drink, then in liquor, and now causes sensation as vinegar used for the refinement of salads.

According to Toyohara Hidekazu, responsible for tropical foods at the Agrarian University of Tokyo, the demand for the Peruvian product on the Japanese archipelago has increased drastically and in order to provide proof for that trend, Japanese retailers say their camu camu stocks are exhausted.

In an interview with Peruvian Radio RPP Noticias, Toyohara emphasized that the intention of his training center is not to obtain a greater commercialization of the product but to reach a series of social objectives with Peruvian agriculturists dedicated to the cultivation of camu camu. 


http://filer.livinginperu.com/business/img/camucamu2.jpg286400The camu camu fruit's history is printed on every commercial container
The fruit's history is printed on every commercial container
© LIP
"Our intention is to collaborate with authorities in their effort to replace the cultivation of coca leafs; to collaborate with agriculturists who have limited resources so they can develop; to help to preserve the environment and to generate a better income for the peasants of the Amazon”, he expressed.

Each commercial camu camu package includes the fruit's history and a map of its origin, in order to promote it in Japan.

“We are not looking for making money but to promote this wonderful product. The profits are reinvested in analysis, research and the expansion of camu camu cultivation in the Peruvian Amazon”, he added.

The professor revealed they are currently exploring the creation of new products such jam, sweets and cosmetics using the fruit's essence.

According to numbers provided by Peru's Exporter Association (ADEX), camu camu exports to Japan totaled US$ 1.552 million between January and November 2006, representing 83% of all exports.

http://filer.livinginperu.com/business/img/camucamu3.jpg231352wild camu-camu is harvested directly into canoes
Wild camu camu is harvested directly into canoes
© LIP
The variety of products is the result of a patient investigative work and development since 1995, between the Agrarian University of Tokyo and theUniversidad Nacional Agraria La Molina del Perú.

The camu camu (Myrciaria dubia), also known as Cacari and Camocamo, is a small (approx. 3-5 m tall) bushy river side tree which bears a red/purple cherry like fruit. The plant is extremely tolerant of flooding, withstanding 4 to 5 months with the roots and even much of the aerial parts submerged in water.

Long used by native peoples, wild camu-camu is harvested directly into canoes. The fruit has only recently come into large-scale cultivation and sale to the world market with Japan being the major buyer. It is relatively easy to cultivate. It survives best in hot, damp tropical climates but will grow in the subtropics, surviving temperatures down to just above freezing. Trees begin to bear fruit after about 4 to 6 years.

The fruit is extremely acidic and the flavour can only be appreciated in recipes requiring a blender, dilution in milk/water and the addition of sugar. The extraordinarily high Vitamin C content (in the order of 2-3% of fresh weight!), is the most important property of the camu camu fruit. (Source: Wikipedia)



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9 Comments

# Sandra says :
13 April, 2007 [ 05:33 ]
A uk based superfood company called naturally green has now started dtocking <a href="http://www.naturallygreen.co.uk/superfoods-camucamu-c-60_41.html">camu-camu powder</a> and i tried it for the 1st time last week and I love it. It's almost like sherbert! slightly fizzy and sweet. del.icio.us!!
# Sandra says :
13 April, 2007 [ 05:34 ]
could never get links to work! Linkfor camu-camu power is: http://www.naturallygreen.co.uk/superfoods-camucamu-c-60_41.html
# Splaktar says :
6 December, 2007 [ 12:07 ]
The fresh fruit makes a really great 'refresco'.  My first taste of it was in Iquitos, but now I regularly prepare my own when I can find them fresh in Wong (Lima).
# kecia costelllo says :
16 February, 2008 [ 09:56 ]
Where can I get some camu trees to grow..We have a nursery / garden ctr. in Louisiana.
Thank you
# Splaktar says :
17 February, 2008 [ 06:50 ]
To grow camu camu 'trees', first you need to realize that they grow from plants more than trees.  And that they grow in fresh water tropical rivers along the banks of the river.  I guess it could be possible to farm then in LA but you'd need property on a smaller river for a nice private 'river' system setup somehow.
# Vivianne says :
7 March, 2008 [ 09:35 ]

I don't think you can grow these tropical plants in other climates? This page has information on some peruvian superfoods and talks about optimal conditions for the plants: http://www.nutri-info.com/superfoods.htm

# ramchico says :
18 September, 2008 [ 07:28 ]
I am looking for japan buyers for this camu camu , please if anybody knows the names of those japanese companies , I can then find their phone numbers and more. please , send me this info , at my email
ramchy_69@yahoo.com
# ray says :
1 April, 2009 [ 01:30 ]
i would like to know how and where to import this fruit to canada
# Alan says :
28 October, 2009 [ 11:12 ]
It is impossible to import the whole fruit, as it is illegal, but If you would like to import any of its processed forms please let me know. My e-mail is alan.gordon24@gmail.com

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