Importing açaí from Brazil

We source our organic certified açaí directly from local communities in the Amazon without any middlemen & brokers. Importing açaí (organic) and other super fruits from Brazil against very competitive rates whereby we guarantee uninterrupted supply year-round and excellent customer service.

Importing organic açaí pulp from Brazil

We source our organic certified açaí directly from local communities in the Amazon without any middlemen & brokers. Almazonia is a one-stop solution for importing açaí and other organic (super)fruits from the Amazon like cupuaçu, acerola, mango and passion fruit.

importing acai
The filling of a 40ft reefer container with açaí. In a 40ft reefer container fits 24,480 kg. A 20ft reefer container offers space for 12,240 kg of açaí. Most açái is exported from the port of Vila do Conde near the city of Belém at the mouth of the Amazon river.

Importing açaí directly from Brazil leads to substantial cost savings. We offer both in transparent and private label packaging:

  • Organic 12% dry rate pure açaí (no citric acid) in 100 grams and 1 kg packaging.
  • Organic 14% dry rate pure açaí (no citric acid) in 100 grams and 1 kg packaging.
  • Organic 16% dry rate pure açaí (with citric acid) in 60 kg and 180 kg drums (only during harvest season).
  • Açaí cream (0% cholesterol) with guaraná, banana or strawberry.
  • Cupuaçu cream (0% cholesterol).
  • Pitaya (dragon fruit) cream.
  • Other superfruits like cupuaçu, acerola and graviola.
  • 100% pure organic açaí  powder (freeze-dried).
  • Other organic fruits from Brazil like mango, passion fruit and pineapple.

Our -30 degrees Celsius warehouse is located about one hour from the international airport of Guarulhos.

For our clients in Europe we offer our consolidated açaí import services. By combining the order of different clients into one container we offer açaí bars and other retailers the opportunity to import açaí directly form Brazil at substantial lower prices. We handle all custom procedures, import duties and internal logistics within Europe. Interested? Please contact us for a quote and discover how much you can save.

We provide private label services whereby we handle all (legal) requirements including the registration at the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA).

Importing açaí from Brazil

depulping acai
Because the açaí berry spoils very quickly immediately after harvest the açaí berry is deeply frozen. However, before the açaí can be frozen, the pits should be removed.

Shipping fresh and frozen products like açaí around the world is a highly specialized and delicate task. The açaí needs to stay deep frozen at -18 degrees Celsius during the whole logistical chain. All our logistical partners have earned their reputation as experienced perishable goods forwarders. Before exporting our organic açaí, we test the quality of each lot at an accredited laboratory to screen for microbes, yeast, mold, agro-toxins and pesticides.

Depending on the quantity we export the (frozen) açaí pulp by sea or air freight.

Exporting açaí by reefer  container

Most of the açaí pulp factories are located in Castanhal / Belém and the closest seaport is Vila do Conde. For ocean freight we use 20 / 40 ft Reefer containers that maintains a temperature of -18 Celsius degrees.

Exporting açaí by air

Smaller shipments / samples of açaí are exported by air freight. We have access to a -30 degrees Celsius warehouse near the international airport of Guarulhos from where we where we dispatch our samples / smaller shipments. To keep the açaí frozen during air freight we use dry ice in EPS boxes. This ensures that the açaí will stay frozen for up to 3 days.

Why use our sourcing services

Except offering very competitive pricing for all our açaí products, quality control is always our foremost priority. We follow our products from beginning to end, ensuring that our customers receive the world’s finest açaí-based products. Almazonia´s buying power produces cost savings, streamlines processes and ensures quality.

Except açaí we also export other organic fruits like cupuaçu, acerola, mango and passion fruit. Almazonia is a one-stop solution for importing açaí and other organic (super)fruits from the Amazon.

For more info or interested in receiving samples, click here.

 

Useful links:

Exporting acai to the NetherlandsCBI / Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries

HS tariff code for frozen açaí pulp – PB Global Trade Solutions

Açaí ain´t açaí: dry matter of açaí – Almazonia

Açaí factory

Each açaí factory follows roughly the same processes for turning the açaí berries into frozen açaí pulp. The end result, however, in both taste profile and quality can be very different. The açaí berry is very sensitive and requires rigorous quality control and management by each açaí factory.

Açaí factory: turning açaí berries into frozen açaí pulp

Each açaí factory follows roughly the same processes for turning the açaí berries into frozen açaí pulp. The end result, however, in both taste profile and quality can be very different. The açaí berry is very sensitive and requires rigorous quality control and management by each açaí factory. We follow our products from beginning to end, ensuring that our customers receive the world’s finest açaí products.

Fresh açaí berries arriving at the açaí factory where they will be turned into pulp within hours.

Before açaí berries turn up in your açaí bowl, the berry has to undergo several processes. These different phases in each açaí factory can be roughly divided into:

1. Reception and weighing
2. Sanitization, first selection and softening 
3. Rinse, second selection and drainage
4. De-pulping
5. Filtration
6. Homogenization
7. Pasteurization
8. Packaging
9. Freezing
10. Storage

Because the berries spoils very fast it is essential that all these processes together do not last longer than 12 hours from the moment the berries are harvested.

Reception and weighing of the fresh harvested açaí berries

After arriving at the açaí factory the berries are first weighted.

Most of the açaí does not come from plantations but is harvested from the wild by ribeirinhos. These are indigenous people living on the riverbanks of the Amazon region. After collecting the berries, the ribeirinhos sell them to the wholesalers (atravessadores) who then sell them to the açaí factory. During transport to the factory it is important that the freshly collected berries are not exposed directly to the sun. Açaí is sold in baskets called “latas” and each lata weighs approximately 14kg. The price of the lata is quoted on a daily basis according to supply and demand.

When the fresh açaí arrives at the açaí facility, they are weighted and the origin of the açaí is registered. Because the berries spoils very fast it is essential that the berries arrive not later than 12 hours at the açaí factory from the moment the berries are harvested. The storage time of the fruit until processing may not exceed 2 hours, counting from the reception at the açaí factory.

Sanitation, first selection and softening

Biological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and fungi are present in air, water and soil. Because these organisms can affect human health it is important to disinfect the wild harvested açaí berries. To decontaminate the berries, plastic, tiled or stainless steel tanks are used with chlorinated water with a maximum capacity of 500 liters. The berries are kept there for around 40 minutes. This also ensures that the berries softens which facilitates the removal of the açaí flesh from the kernel at a later stage (depulping). In general, 90% of the dirt is removed during this phase.

Rinse, second selection and drainage

The açaí berries are cleaned at the açaí factory to remove any dirt.

The purpose here is to remove any residue of the chlorinated solution so that the quality and flavor of the final product is not altered. With a sieve any remaining dirt is also removed from the berries. All the water is removed in this phase.

Depulping of the açaí berries at the açaí factory

Now that the berries are clean and removed of any dirt, the depulping of the berry in the açaí factory can start. This happens by means of friction between the berries (the edible layer of the açaí is only 1 to 2 mm thick). Specialized stainless steel machines with a vertical internal axis generate circular movements that separates the flesh of the berry from the kernel. Because the açaí berry is naturally very dry, water is used in this process. The purity of the frozen açaí pulp is determined here. The more water is used in this process, the less pure will be the açaí pulp. This number is expressed in the dry rate of açaí. Export quality of frozen açaí pulp should have at least a dry rate of 12% (açaí médio). The highest quality is açaí pulp is called açaí special and has a dry rate of minimum 14%. Each depulping machine in an açaí factory has a capacity to process around 100 – 200 liters of açaí pulp per day. A large açaí factory will therefor have the need the have several depulping machines.

Filtration

depulping acai
Açaí factory near Belém where specialized stainless steel machines separate the flesh of the berry from the kernel.

After depulping the açaí berries, the paste is filtered with plastic sieves to remove any remaining material as a consequence of the depulping. For example the peel of the açaí berry or parts of the pits.

Homogenization

During this process the fat globules are broken up to such a small size that they remain suspended evenly rather than separating out and floating to the surface. The purpose of homogenization is making things uniform or similar that is accomplished by means of high pressure. Homogenization is a physical process and not chemical and so nothing is added or taken away from the açaí.

Pasteurization of the açaí

For food safety most distributors outside Brazil require the açaí to be pasteurized. This is a heating process that kills so called pathogens. Pasteurization is a very delicate process as it interferes both with the color of the açaí and the taste itself. 

Before exporting our açaí, we test the quality of each lot at an accredited laboratory to screen for microbes, yeast, mold, agro-toxins and pesticides.

Packaging

The açaí pulp has now reached its final processing and is ready for consumption. The packaging machine at the açaí factory is directly connected to the homogenization / pasteurization equipment and is done fully automatically. The packaging for format is dependent on the demands of the final client. For exportation the most used packaging is 100 grams sachets that are used for the açaí bowls.

Freezing of the açaí pulp

Now that the açaí berries are depulped and packaged it is essential that the pulp is frozen as fast as possible to avoid contamination and / or deterioration of the product. Each açaí factory has a so called freezing tunnel where the açaí is put immediately after packaging. The temperature in this tunnel is around minus 30 degrees Celsius. After the açaí is frozen it is moved to a storage room with a temperature between minus 18 and minus 25 degrees Celsius where it will stay until is it moved to the client.

Depending on whether is açaí pulp is pasteurized or not the expiry date of the açaí is 12 months or 24 months (with pasteurization).

Enjoy your açaí bowl!

Almazonia

açaí factoryAlmazonia is a one-stop solution for all imports of organic fruits from Brazil like açaí, acerola, passion fruit and mango. We offer private label services and personalize your product and develop a distinctive brand. Our local presence and our buying power results in cost savings, streamlines processes and ensures the best quality.

For more info about importing açaí directly from Brazil, click here.

We invite you to discover what Almazonia can do for your company. Contact us for more info!

 

Useful links:

Açái Marajó – an açaí factory in Jundiaí

Tonka beans (cumaru) harvested from local communities in the Amazon

Cumaru (tonka beans) are dark and wrinkled seeds of the dipteryx odorata, a flowering tree native to South America. Tonka beans are one of the most common ingredients in perfumery. The beans can also be found in several other products like soaps and tobacco where it is used to improve aroma. We buy our cumaru (tonka beans) directly from small local communities that generates an important income for rural families.

Tonka beans (cumaru) from Brazil

Tonka beans are dark and wrinkled seeds of the Dipteryx Odorata, a flowering tree native to South America. In Brazil the tonka bean tree is common in the states of Pará and Amazonas. Tonka beans are one of the most common ingredients in perfumery. We buy our tonka beans directly from small local communities in the Amazon basin. We offer very competitive prices for importing tonka beans directly from Brazil.

importing cumaru tonka beans brazil

Cumaru’s journey to perfumery began in 1793, when the fruit was first presented to the French. The tropical tree has beautiful purple flowers where each flower contains one bean. It largely grows in the tropical rainforest between Venezuela and Brazil. The tonka beans are dark brown from the inside and they spread characteristic vanilla-like flavor and therefore are also used as a replacement for vanilla in a range of foods including baked goods and ice cream. The beans can also be found in several other products like soaps and tobacco where it is used to improve aroma.

The dipteryx odorata tree also yields an exceptionally attractive timber that is used both locally and for exporting. Because the tree is often harvested from the wild, it is very important the use of this resource occurs in a sustainable way.

Extraction of the cumaru seeds for the fragrance industry

After the tonka beans have fallen from the trees and been harvested, the cumaru seeds are first dried. The cumaru is then macerated in alcohol for twelve to twenty-four hours. This causes a “frosting” of the beans; the formation of pure coumarin crystals on the surface of the tonka beans. The coumarin crystals are sold separately from the cumaru seeds itself. The extraction creates an absolute with a gourmand fragrance which is a valuable raw material in the perfume industry. 

Importing tonka beans (cumaru) from Brazil

By buying the tonka beans (cumaru) from our suppliers you:

  • Support local communities
  • Contribute to the preservation of the Amazon rainforest
  • Contribute to local economies
  • Support fair trade
  • Combat biopiracy

The harvest season of cumaru / tonka beans is from July until September.

If you are interested in importing tonka beans from Brazil or in receiving samples, please contact us.

 

cumaru tonka beans brazil

container tonka beans

exporting tonka beans cumaru

Açaí ain´t açaí: dry matter of açaí

The process of removing the flesh of the fruit from the pit will have a big influence on the purity and quality of the açaí. An açaí bowl with a high quality of açaí pulp can contain up to twice as much açaí relative to a bowl with lesser quality.

Quality of açaí pulp

dry matter açaí qualityFor centuries local communities are aware of the nutritional and medicinal properties of the açaí berry that grows spontaneously and abundantly in the states of Pará, Amapá, Maranhão and eastern Amazonas. Because the açaí berry spoils very quickly, it is not possible to eat the berries fresh. Therefore, immediately after harvest the açaí berry is deeply frozen. However, before the açaí can be frozen, the pits should be removed. The açaí berry namely consists of almost 90% pit. And this is important to know because the process of removing the flesh of the fruit from the pit will have a big influence on the purity and quality of the açaí. An açaí bowl with a high quality of açaí pulp can contain up to twice as much açaí relative to a bowl with lesser quality.

Dry matter açaí

The edible layer of the açaí is only 1 to 2 mm thick. In order to remove this thin layer, the freshly harvested açaí berries will be the rolled against each other into a funnel. Because the açaí berry is naturally very dry run, water is used in the process whereby the açaí berries are changed into pulp. This percentage is expressed in the dry matter of açaí. The higher the dry matter, the less water is used and so the purer is the açaí pulp. It is the dry matter that determines in the purity of the frozen açaí pulp.

There are three standardized quality levels for açaí pulp:

  • Açaí ´fino´ (C): low to medium dry matter (8% -11%).
  • Açaí ‘medio‘ (B): medium to high dry matter (11% – 14%).
  • Açaí ‘grosso‘ (A): a very high dry matter (> 14%),  also called ‘industrial quality’.

Often citric acid is used in açaí pulp as a natural preservative and anti-oxidant which influences the taste (lowers Ph).

If you would like to know more about açaí please feel free to contact us. We always like to share our knowledge and experiences.

For info about importing açaí from Brazil, click here.