If you’re looking for an expert on vitamin C and the acerola cherry, you won’t do much better than the researchers at the Fazenda Amway Nutrilite do Brasil—the Nutrilite™ certified organic farm outside of Ubajara, Brazil.
The 3,136-acre farm is home to 416,000 acerola trees growing 77 different varieties—95% of all known varieties.
“No one knows more about the acerola cherry than we do,” said Nutrilite™ Agricultural Researcher Talita Adeodato, who spends her days in the fields monitoring and implementing her research or in the lab analyzing her results and developing new hypotheses. “Most of the different varieties are currently grown for research purposes, and that has enabled us to pick two of the most optimal varieties to grow commercially.”
The farm also includes research plots where scientists are continually searching for ways to increase the cherries’ vitamin C concentration through studying seeds, root stock, grafting new varieties and harvesting techniques. One of those research areas contains one of the largest acerola germplasm banks with more than 100 varieties of acerola in continuous study.
“We also have partnerships with research institutions, universities, and—most importantly—we have our global collaboration with the Nutrilite™ Trout Lake farm in the U.S., El Petacal in Mexico and the Amway Botanical Research Center in China,” Adeodato said.
The research in Brazil is a continuation of work Nutrilite™ started in 1955 on a 500-acre acerola farm in what is now the U.S. state of Hawaii for four years. Working with the University of Hawaii, Nutrilite™ spearheaded one of the earliest investigations into vitamin C and the acerola cherry.
At the time, the university’s College of Tropical Agriculture even named a superior strain of the acerola “The Carl Rehnborg Variety,” in honor of the Nutrilite™ brand founder. As current research continues, Adeodato said it is likely that more new acerola varieties will be bearing the Nutrilite™ brand name.