Acai / Assai / Cabbage Palm


The best Acai is the Premium Acai from Para – Brazil


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What is Acai


Acai is known as “The magic fruit of Amazon or the fruit of the life.”

The açaizeiro  (Euterpe oleracea mart) is a characteristic palm tree of the meadows and margins of the Amazonian rivers, in the State of Amazon in Brazil. Inherited tradition of the Indians, in Para in Brazil the Acai is consumed everyday in the local cookery.

The medium Acai has a tenor from 11 to 14 of solids.


The Acai in the bowl (Acai cremates) it is a tradition that began at the beach, it went to the academies, bars, restaurants, etc.


The power of Acai


Antioxidant – The studies with Acai show that it has 10 times more antioxidant than other red fruits. The antioxidants reduce the destruction of the cells, combating the process of the aging and helping maintain the body free from diseases.

Omega – heart protection, nervous system regeneration, important paper in the cerebral functions and in the immunological system; help in the control of the cholesterol, and collaborate with the general health of the body. The omegas are also excellent for the repair of the muscles after the exercises and trauma recovery.


Amino acids / Proteins
– help resistance, force, sustained energy, muscle development. The amino acids are frequently called “the bricks of the body”

Calcium, Iron and Potassium – the Acai is one of the richest foods in iron

Vitamins – the Acai contains a high concentration of vitamins, being a natural antioxidant that helps eliminate free radicals. It Contains vitamin B1 and high tenor of pigments Antocianinas (violet purple color) that are also Antioxidants.

Teobromina – A bronchial expander that helps maintain the passages of air through the lungs. Increases breathing capacity and help the absorption of oxygen, increasing resistance.

Fibers – great amount of fibers, which favors the intestinal traffic.



Great Taste

Acai besides providing all these benefits is still very tasty.

Texture and Color – purple colored with a thicken texture and soft and exotic flavor.


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1. the acai fruit



4. Anthocyanins and their protective properties



1. the acai fruit

The Acai palm tree (Picture 1) grows in groups of around 6, slightly curved stems per clump. Each stem produces up to 4 bunches, every year, where the fruits grows in stacks. It is a plant that grows better in humid and wet land, like river banks, and is endemic in the Amazon River estuary.

As it flowers and frutifiques along the whole year, it is possible to find in the same tree, different maturity stages, from flowers to ripe fruits. From this tree, that reaches 90 feet and has an imponent scientific name “euterpe oleracea” everything can be used. The top part of the trunk is the Heart-of-Palm, the leaves are used to cover the houses, the wood is used in rustic constructions and the leave fibers to weave hats and baskets. The dried bunches are used as brooms.

1.  Acai palm tree

Acai (ah-sigh-ee) is an Amazonian palm fruit prized for hundreds of years by indigenous people for its ability to provide a sense of strength and energy on those who consume it. Only in the last few years, Acai has gone from an Amazonian regional food to a dietary staple for Brazil’s top athletic organizations and everyday energy seekers alike.

The Acai fruit is a small, measuring from 1.0 to 1.4 centimeters in diameter, round and purple “nearly black” fruit. It looks like a cherry, but smaller and purple. It grows on a palm tree and its harvest season (in our region) happens from July to December, but during nearly the whole year it can be found on different regions around the  Marajó Island (North Brazil).

Nevertheless, for one to obtain a healthy Acai, tasty and better for consumption, the time between the harvest and processing is one of the main factors.

In Brazil, people are used to consume Acai in different manners. Preferencially in summer, Brazilian youngsters and teenagers like to consume acai with granola, oat flakes, cereal, banana and honey, it’s known as ”acai  na tigela” (acai in a bowl) (Picture 2) and is the most popular manner for consumption.

People eat acai before going to the gym due to its high energy, improving their availability to exercise more and physical conditional.

Acai can be found as juice (Picture 3) or mixed with other fruits and milk as a ready to drink beverage. Also acai ice cream and ice cream on a stick.

Picture 2. Acai na tigela
Fruta Vida International with acai, yerba mate, and capuacu.

Picture 3. Acai juice

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The following are just some of the reported benefits of taking Acai, results vary from person to person but benefits can be felt in 1-2 weeks of usage. Acai has essential minerals such as iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium.

Iron is an important component indicated for anemya treatment and muscle strengthening. Potassium contributes to equilibrate the tension arterial, improving the organism defense against flu and cold. Phosphorus properties together with calcium contribute to the fortification of maternal milk. Calcium is much more than bones reconstruction and healthy tooth, like people are used to think, it’s widely useful for blood coagulation, muscle contractions, bone’s cellular renovation, especially in women in the period of menopause.

Acai has all natural Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin C and Vitamin E (tocopherol).

Vitamins from Complex B act in organism maintenance and development and promote better behavior to nervous system. Vitamin C acts like an anti-oxidant, responsible for cells protection and human body system. It’s vital for the production of collagen, providing many benefits in cardiac vascular system, helping in the maintenance of blood circulation free from harmful cholesterol (LDL).

Vitamin E is a natural anti-oxidant, that helps combat premature aging.

Acai is a dense source of particular class of flavonoids called anthocyanins (red-blue phenols with potent antioxidant properties)

Acai has been shown to have up to 33 times the Antocyanine (a powerful Anti-Oxidant) then red wine grapes.

Anthocyanins are a group of phytochemicals in red wine thought to contribute to the “French paradox”, i, e. France has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease of any westernized society despite a prevalence of smoking and a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

The primary anthocyanin in .Acai is cyanidin-3 glucoside (1), Cyanidin-3- glucoside has been found to be 3.5 times stronger than Trolox (vitamin E analogue) and the predominate anthocyanin found in red wine (nalvadin-3-glucoside) in an ORAC analysis (measure of antioxidant capacity).

Anthocyanins have been found to “exhibit numerous potential therapeutic effects including treatment of diabetic retinopathy and fibrocystic disease of the breast in human”. “Other potential physiological effects of anthocyanins include radiation ¬protective, chemopratective, vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory agents”.

Acai’s Anti-Oxidant factors play a large role in maintenance of vascular cardiac system, which is important for better blood circulation.

Acai has two essential fatty acids known as Omega 6 (Linoleic acid) and Omega 9 (Oleic acid). Research shows that these fatty acids maintain normal cholesterol levels.

60% Omega 9 (Oleic acid) a monounsaturated, essential fatty acid, helps lower LDL (harmful cholesterol) while maintaining HDL, (beneficial cholesterol) levels. 12% Omega 6 (Linoleic acid) a polyunsaturated, essential fatty acid, has been found to lower both LDL and HL levels.

Fatty acids aid in the transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins ice. Vitamins A, E, D, and K.

Acai contains valuable phytosterols.

Sterols are components of plant cell membranes providing numerous benefits to the human body, namely the reduction of blood plasma cholesterol.

Sterols are currently being used to treat symptoms associated with BPH
(Benign Prostate Hyperplasia).

An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contractions and regeneration.

Acai has a high level of fibers that is good for elderly and for people who have problems with digestive organs. Improved digestion.           

Fiber promotes a healthy digestive system. Low fiber in the American diet is thought to be a contributing factor to the high incidence of cancer and heart disease. Soluble fibers may help lower blood cholesterol; insoluble fibers are thought to help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers.

Greater energy/stamina.
The failure of people to eat a diet high in antioxidants leads to drastically decreased energy levels as they grow older.

Acai Health Facts

  • Improved Mental Focus.

  • Improved sexual function.

  • Better sleep.

  • All nutrients come from one berry.

  • Acai has more proteins then an average egg.

  • Acai has a high amount of lipids that gives you the energy of a raging bull.

  • More bio-active then liquid freeze dried versions of Acai.

  • Very low Sugar content for a fruit.

  • Cleansing and Detoxing your body.

  • Boost your Immune System.

  • Acai is considered one of the richest nutritive fruits from the Amazon or the world for that fact.


Acai is a new fruit from Brazil that offers vital nutritional benefits for people over 40 years of age. The Acai contains 33 times the cholesterol fighting anthocyanin than a glass of red wine, a Daily Value (DVS) of calcium, twice the DVS at the antioxidant “Vitamin E and a substantial amount of dietary fiber” (2)

Cardiovascular Maintenance, Anthocyanins are cholesterol regulating compounds with well researched data (indicating their value in Cardiovascular support Elevated blood cholesterol is one of the major modifiable risk factors for coronary heart disease (5) and the leading cause of death in the US The fact is that 490,000 Americans die of Coronary Heart Diseases each year (3) with cost of over $60 billion annually in medical expenses  and lost productivity (4) Therefore, regulating and reducing cholesterol through dietary means can contribute to prolonging life and reducing medical expenses. Low cholesterol foods and exercise are only a part of the natural program to prevent and mitigate cardiovascular diseases. The consumption of foods rich in compounds that reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and curry antioxidant protection completes the program. Acai is an excellent example of such a functional food that is now accessible to food, beverage and supplement markets in an economical and convenient form.

Calcium rich Acai also provides several cardiovascular health benefits. According to a research summary by the editorial team. More than maintaining skeletal strength and reducing the impact of osteoporosis, studies have shown that people who suffer from high blood pressure often also have diets low in calcium, When calcium is added to their diet, blood pressure drops. Some research also suggest that calcium may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Also the lower risk of stroke, found in a study of 86,000 women, was attributed to calcium. Diets rich in calcium have also been linked to reduced occurrences of colon and breast cancer in various laboratory studies.

The generous amount of Vitamin E in Acai, twice the D.V., (Daily Value), is essential for regeneration of damaged tissue and as a protective antioxidant. Cancer prevention and Intestinal function: “Acai” high fiber content is very favorable to the consumers proper intestinal function, ” reports Dr. Herve Rogez , “Fiber accelerates the intestinal processes and has a very important role in avoiding colon cancer, The D.V. is 35g of fibers/adult a day, Acai consumers reach this dose very easily,” (2)

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acai chemical composition

1. Chemical composition and energy value

The Acai beverage is not an acid drink, as its average pH is 5.23. That pH 5.23 is lower than the values mentioned in the literature (pH 5.8-5.9) as showed in table 1.

The variations in pH are due to the organic acids. pH variations evolve in a highly significant manner over the period of time from the harvest, towards a slight alkalinization (p < 0.01), this means to say that the pH increases appreciably over the months of collection.


3.1.1. Total Lipids

The Acai is a caloric food due to its percentage of fatty material, the main Acai component in quantitative terms. A man between 18 and 29 years of age, weighing 65 kilos and engaged in average physical activity needs approximately 3,000 kcal/day. The daily consumption of one liter of Acai with 12.5% dry matter, contains 65.8g of lipids, which corresponds to 66% of the daily lipid ingestion requirement (100g) (CNNB, 1996). This  amount supplies 592 kcal of the 657 total kcal contained in one liter of Acai, that is to say, over 20% of the daily energy contribution for an adult man. This gives it an energy value comparable to whole cow’s milk (614 kcal/l) (USDA, 1998). This energy value is partly responsible for the success of Acai among the youngsters in the Southern region of Brazil.

The lipids content does not present any significant difference among trees, shoots and conditions (p > 0.05) (Table 2). However, it diminishes almost significantly during the course of the harvest (p = 0.06).

Thus the lipids represent around 90% of the calories contained in this beverage. Thanks to the good profile the oil presents (see the following point) the consumption of Acai assures taking good advantage of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.

acai nutritients

Table 2. Acai nutrients

3.1.2. Profile of Liposoluble Components

Table 3 presents the complete profile of fatty acids, sterols and tocopherols and tocotrienols in olive oil and Acai. According to the nutritional recommendations in force, the ideal profile of an oil should have 50% of mono-unsaturated, a maximum of 33% of saturated and the remainder of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (CNNB, 1996), which contributes towards giving olive oil a good reputation. In Table 2 it can be seen that, within the
set of palm oils analyzed, oleic acid is the most abundant, followed by palmitic and linoleic acids. Euterpe oleracea presents a particularly interesting profile from the nutritional point of view, which gives it an important advantage. However, a weak content of linolenic acid is pointed out, an indispensable fatty acid , whose recommendation for an adult (CNNB, 1996) is established at 0.5-1% of the diet energy (1.6 – 3.3 g/day).

The main sterol in all the examples examined is beta-sitosterol with maximum values for olive oil and Acai (Table 3). The proportions of cholesterol are small.

The total amount of alpha-tocopherol present in Acai is high (45 mg/100 g M.S.). This high vitamin E content must be related to that of the unsaturated fatty acids, the first generally being related to the second. Vitamin E (tocopherols), thermo-resistant, is an important natural anti-oxidant that protects the lipids (de Luca & Suttie, 1969). The daily vitamin E recommendation is from 5-15 mg for an adult (CNNB, 1996), which makes one perceives that the Acai may be considered to be an excellent source.

acai liposoluable

3. Acai liposoluble components


3.2.1. Total Nitrogenous Matter

In comparison with other fruits, the Acai fruit shows a high protein content: the average total nitrogenous matter content found in 109 samples is 10.05% in relation to the dry matter (Table 2).

3.2.2. Amino Acid Profile

To assess the nutritional value of the Acai protein (Table 4), comparison with egg protein was chosen, which constitutes a classical reference for human feeding. The amino acid contents dosed in these different foods  were expressed in relative proportions to enable them to be compared. With regard to the amino acid profiles, it is pointed out that only that of Acai is very similar to that of egg; the primary limiting amino acid is metionine (chemical index of 60%); the secondary limiting amino acid is lisine and has an excess of phenylalanine 1 and treonine.


Table 4. Acai amino acids


The assimilable sugar content in Acai fruit is generally normal, with sucrose (present mainly in pineapple, pears, citrus fruit and bananas) and the glucose monomers and fructose (mainly present in kiwis, cherries, apples, plums and grapes) constituting the forms most commonly found. These sugars come from progressive starch degradation, normally abundant before maturity (Kader & Barrett, 1996).

The detailed analysis of these sugars by liquid chromatography shows the presence of glucose and fructose (1.55% and 1.36% respectively in relation to dry matter). The glucose and fructose contents do not present any significant difference among trees, shoots and conditions (p > 0.05). Sucrose is almost absent from the product (0.05% of the D.M.). The presence of starch was not detected.


The fiber content varies widely from one fruit species to the other. In the case of Açai, the total food fiber concentration is notably high (25.22% of dry matter on an average) (Table 2) and make them the second largest quantity of compound in cabbage palm after lipids. Part of these fibers can easily be seen by optic microscope. The fibers do not present any significant difference of content for the factors trees, shoots and conditions (p  > 0.05).

Fibers play a very important role in regulating the consumer’s intestinal transit, as well as participating in the prevention of colon cancer. The daily recommended intake of total food fibers is 35g per adult. Therefore, Acai may really be considered to be an excellent source of fibers. Further studies should be developed to characterize these fibers.


3.5.1. Vitamins

Costa (1953), for the first time, showed the presence of vitamin B in Acai, using it to1 enrich the feed for pigeons that lacked this vitamin . Vitamin B (0.25 mg/100g D.M.) is 2 frequently present in significant amounts in  oleaginous plants.

3.5.2. Major Mineral Elements


is the most abundant mineral in the Acai (990 mg/100g D,M.). High contents of this mineral in foods are frequently associated with an easily growing acidity and/or an improved color.

2 – For man, extreme lack of vitamin B, causes beriberi, a disease characterized by cardiac and nervous disturbances, muscular atrophy and edemas (Domart & Bourneuf, 1981)

The weak sodium content (76 mg/100 g D.M.) finds its origin in the richness in potassium.


is the second most abundant mineral in the Ac ai and is associated with the cell wall structures (Kader & Barrett, 1996).

The magnesium found in fruits originates in the chlorophyll present before maturity. On an  average, the content is of 178 mg/100 g D.M.

With regard to phosphorous, it is a citoplasmatic and nuclear constituent of proteins and lays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and energy transfer (Kader & Barrett, 1996). The mean quantities of this mineral in Acai are 147 mg/100 g D.M.

3.5.3. Oligo-elements

The copper content is very high for a fruit (1.38 mg/100 g D.M.) and the Açai may therefore, be considered to be an excellent source of this oligo-element. In effect, the daily recommended consumption is 1.1 mg for an adult (CNNB, 1996).

The manganese content (32.3 mg/100 g D.M.) is excessive in relation to the daily required quantity (10 times more) but does not get to be toxic, as the manganese causes disorders at much higher concentrations (above 200 mg/day) (Belitz & Grosch, 1992).

The zinc content (1.73 mg/100 g D.M.) is below the values found by other authors (2 -7 mg/100 g D.M.) and should, in all cases, be considered as low for a food.

The cadmium (460 ppm of D.M.), and  boron (1.58 mg/100 g D.M.) and nickel (203 ppm of D.M.) had never been dosed before.

It is also mentioned that Almeida & Valsechi (1966) dosed the aluminum and obtained a value of 2.6 mg/100 g of dry matter, normal for this type of food.

Common name

Scientific name

Concentration (mg/100g)


Euterpe oleracea

440 (fruit)


Vaccinium corimbosum x V. macrocarpon



Prunus cerasus


Red cabbage

Brassica oleracea var. capitata



Fragaria chiloensis



Rubus idaeus

 40 (fruit)


Ribes nigrum


Black beans

Phaseolus vulgaris



Euterpe edulis



Rubus occidentalis

345 (fruit)

Red onion

Allium cepa


Apple (skin)

Malus pumila


Plum (skin)

Prunus domestica

29.5 (fruit)

Black grapes

Vitis vinifera


Table 5

Concentration of anthocyanines in various foods

What is the ORAC Assay?

The Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) assay is a method for measuring the total antioxidant activity of a biological sample. It measures the antioxidant ctivities of human, agricultural products, food products, food ingredients and pharmaceutical products.

The assay measures the effectiveness of various natural antioxidants, present in the sample, in preventing the loss in the fluorescence intensity of the fluorescent marker protein, Beta-pycoerythrin (beta-PE), during peroxy radical induced free radical damage. Each eaction is calibrated using known standards of Trolox®, a water soluble vitamin E analog. The results of the ssay are reported on the basis of 1 ORAC unit = 1
micro-M Trolox®. 1

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4. Anthocyanins and their protective properties

The Anthocyanines

The mean content is 440 mg/kg of fruit (Table 2). Expressing the anthocyanine content in 100 g of dry extract, a mean value of 1.02 g is obtained, which means to say that around 1% of the dry matter is made of these powerful anti-oxidants. It was seen that other products contain comparable contents (Table 5).

Inflammation and Collagen:
Anthocyanins neutralize enzymes that destroy connective tissue. Their antioxidant capacity prevents oxidants from damaging connective tissues and repair damaged proteins in the blood-vessel walls.

Nervous System:
By preventing tyrosine nitration, the anthocyanins properties in Açaí may help protect against neurological diseases. The primary anthocyanins in Açaí known as Cyanidin-3-glucoside have been found to help in the reversal of age related neurological deficits.

Large and Small Blood Vessels:

Anthocyanins ability to counter oxidants make them a powerhouse in the fight against arteriosclerosis. Even in trace amounts, anthocyanins effectively protect against LDL oxidation. Anthocyanins protect the integrity of the endothelial cells that line blood vessel walls and help to maintain micro capillary integrity. Diabetes: One of the serious diabetic complications is retinopathy, which in most cases can cause blindness. This condition occurs when the body attempts to repair leaking, damaged capillaries, but does so by over producing abnormal proteins. The protection of anthocyanins may help prevent these capillaries from leaking and to help prevent abnormal protein proliferation.

Anthocyanins may also help improve eyesight by numerous mechanisms. During the WW II, British fighter pilots were found to have improved night vision. These findings were thought to the result of the large amounts of bilberry in the pilot’s diet. The effects of the improved night vision were not long lasting after the initial consumption of bilberry – it lasted just some hours after initial consumption. With this newfound advantage, the pilots were lead to ingest bilberry fruits just prior to the mission.

Pigmented fruits are known to carry the highest amounts of anthocyanins. Fruits that can be eaten with skin on, offer the highest value of anthocyanins. These fruits would consist of cherries, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, bilberry, and Açaí to name a few.

Copyright : Whole Foods Magazine and Jeff Bliss

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The Hidden Secrets

Polyphenols, Phytochemicals, Anthocyanins, what are they and what are the benefits of such compounds?

Phytochemicals characterize, or sum up the whole picture of the beneficial compounds found in fruits, vegetables and certain teas. They are the protective living matter in which plants are able to thrive in some uncertain environments such as climate and insect infestations. When consumed by humans, these compounds act as antioxidants so vital to good health and longevity. Many studies suggest that the use of antioxidants may help in the fight against anti-aging, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and so many other age related degenerative diseases including ophthalmology.

Anthocyanins are some of the more potent forms of antioxidants. We have all heard of the “French Paradox”, how the people of France with their high fat diets and not uncommon unhealthy lifestyles are still below the percentage of related deaths from cardiovascular disease than many of the populations that exist today. One reason may be that they consume large amounts of red wine. Wine, made from grapes has very high levels of  the antioxidant anthocyanins. The polyphenols (anthocyanins) in red wine are believed to mitigate the effects of a fatty diet and smoking. Anthocyanin, a polyphenol that is proven to reverse, halt and improve the conditions of many age related diseases inflicted on the general population. Anthocyanins (flavonoids) found in various fruits have a unique chemical structure that makes them 6 to 8 times more potent than vitamin C. One particular fruit, known as Acai (ah-Sa-E) contains the most highly concentrated forms of anthocyanins known thus far through intense research. Anthocyanins content in the Açaí has been proven to be 3.5 times the amount of that present in a glass of red wine, volume to volume when tested in an ORAL analysis (measure of capacity).

By: Jeffrey Bliss  –  Whole Foods Magazine


Superfood No. 1: Açaí  Nature’s Energy Fruit

It may seem odd to start this list of superfoods with one you’ve likely never even heard of. But studies have shown that this little berry is one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world! Açaí (ah-sigh-ee) is the high-energy berry of a special Amazon palm tree. Harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, açaí tastes like a vibrant blend of berries and chocolate. Hidden within its royal purple pigment is the magic that makes it nature’s perfect energy fruit. Açaí is packed full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Although açaí may not be available in your local supermarket, you can find it in several health food and gourmet stores (often in juice form). A new product featuring the unsweetened pulp is now also available, and I highly recommend that
you choose this form of açaí.

Açaí pulp contains:


A remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.

A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promotecardiovascular and digestive health.

An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

The fatty acid content in açaí resembles that of olive oil, and is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. Oleic acid is important for a number of reasons. It helps omega-3 fish oils penetrate the cell membrane; together they help make cell membranes more supple. By keeping the cell membrane supple, all hormones, neurotransmitter and insulin receptors function more efficiently. This is particularly important because high insulin levels create an inflammatory state, and we know, inflammation causes aging.

Based on an interview broadcasted in Oprah’s show

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  • Claire Madden, VP Marketing at,

  • “Biochemical and Technical Studies on Acai” by Dr. Herve Rogez 2, Sofia Pascal 2, Jesus N.S. de Souza, Arlete R. Aquino & Raphaele Buxant Dept..  de Engenharia Quimica – Centro Tecnologico, Diaouiweir ria I niinnin, Beligica)

  • National Contor for Health Statictice. Annual summary of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths United States, 1993, Monthly vital statistics report-, vol 42 no 13. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service, 1594.

  • American Heart Association. Heart and stroke facts 1995 statistical supplement. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 1994.

  • National Cholesterol Education Program. Second report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults Adult Treatment Panel II). BeM6sda National Heart, Lung.

  • Oprah’s show

  • Jeffrey Bliss  –  Whole Foods Magazine

  • DaFruta and LMS Food – content research

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