Monday, April 6, 2009

Baobab super fruit breaks through to UK

British chefs should start thinking about recipes that make use of the African baobab fruit, after the European Commission gave the green light on the use of its pulp in the UK.

The powdery pulp of the fruit, which is famously used to make the liqueur Amarula, is nutritionally high in vitamin C, calcium, iron and antioxidants, which makes it perfect for use in smoothies, cereal bars, jams and as a fruit filling.

Africans have long used the fruit pulp as a traditional food for pregnant women and children, due to its nutritious content, and is mixed with water to make refreshing drinks and as a baking ingredient.

The pulp by itself is somewhat unappetising, being likened to the texture of sherbet and with a bland taste, although baobab jam is supposedly strikingly similar to honey, with a tart, tangy sensation.

Phytotrade Africa, the company responsible for importing the baobab, claim the harvesting of the fruit could be an industry worth up to $1bn US.

Cyril Lombard, Market Development Manager of PhytoTrade Africa said: “Approval for Baobab is fantastic news for Africa. Opening up the European market to this product will make a real difference to poor rural communities there, offering them a potentially life-changing source of income.’

The baobab pulp is expected to reach the UK in a few months.

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