Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Acerola (Malpighia glabra), also known as Barbados Cherry or West Indian Cherry, is a tropical fruit tree of the Malpighiaceae family. The cherry-like fruit of the acerola is high in vitamin C and other nutrients but is unrelated to the true cherry, Prunus cerasus. Although resembling the cherry, it is internally sectioned in the manner of an orange.
The acerola tree has thorns, and it flowers in season. Some botanists suggest that, if sufficiently cared for, its blossoming could compete with the Japanese cherry tree . In Puerto Rico, the acerola is so prized that custom officials exercise considerable precaution to prevent exporting of acerola cuttings.
In the 1950's, a manufacturer of baby food decided that apple juice was milder for infants than orange juice. The company said that a drop of acerola juice in an 8 oz. can of apple juice provided the amount of vitamin C of an equal amount of orange juice.
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