Afriplex is a South African company rooted in the development and manufacturing of botanical extracts, complementary medicines and food & beverage product solutions.

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Baobab, the African Superfruit

Scientific name: Adansonia digitata

Other Names: Baobab, Monkey Bread Tree, Kremetart tree, Cream of Tartar, Upside-down Tree

Background

With its long history of safe and traditional use, baobab fruit is one of Africa’s most exciting foods. Its nutritional profile and properties, as well as its inherent market appeal, makes it an interesting ingredient for food and beverage applications.  

The tree, also known as the upside-down tree, is found throughout Africa and bears oval-shaped fruit that shield numerous seeds, embedded in a cream-coloured pulp powder, referred to by the local population as “monkey-bread”.

Traditional Uses

The citric and tartaric acid found in the pulp has given it the popular name of “cream of tartar”, and it is often used as a baking ingredient. Other uses include: a milk-curdling agent; as yoghurt or ice-cream flavouring; or as a source of calcium for pregnant and lactating women. 

Today Baobab is used mainly as a functional ingredient, the latter being made by simply adding water to the pulp and consuming as a refreshing drink. The fruit pulp’s tangy, tart flavour makes it especially popular amongst children and is used to make a beverages widely consumed across the continent.

KEY NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES

Dietary fibre

Dietary fibre can help maintain a healthy digestive tract and lower blood cholesterol levels. Baobab contains higher levels of dietary fibre than other fruits including apples, peaches, apricots, and bananas. Pectin, a source of fibre in baobab, has been reported to reduce LDL cholesterol. Baobab pulp is reported to have a pectin content of about 56.2g/100g, thereby making it an attractive option to function as gelling agent, thickening agent or stabiliser.

Compared to many other popular fruits such as apples apricots, bananas, peaches and blueberries, baobab boasts significantly high calcium, iron, antioxidant, magnesium, potassium, ascorbic acid, B vitamins and pectin with prebiotic benefits.

Calcium

Baobab contains higher levels of calcium than milk (293 mg/100g).

Antioxidants

Baobab fruit powder is reported to have an ORAC value of 240 m molTE/g which is more than double the figures reported for pomegranates and cranberries, and more than three times the reported figure for blueberries.

Iron

Baobab contains more iron than spinach and apples (7-8.6 mg/100g).

Potassium

Baobab contains more potassium than apricots, bananas, peaches, and apples (2.31 mg/100g).

Magnesium

Magnesium is required for normal energy metabolism, muscle function and for bone and tooth structure. Baobab has a magnesium content above that of bananas, apricots, peaches, and apples.

Vitamin C

High natural Vitamin C content (at least 150 mg/100g).

Pectin

High levels of pectin (23%), making it a useful binding and thickening agent, as well as applications where gelling and viscosity modification is required.

Other:

•        Phosphorus (96-118 mg/100g),

•        Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and

•        Vitamin B3 (niacin).

•        Soluble and insoluble dietary fibres with prebiotic effects.

BAOBAB PRODUCT OFFERING

Afriplex manufactures several application-specific extract variations of Baobab, boasting a range of ingredients developed from this superfruit, including:

  1. Depectinised extract: Ideal for ice teas and carbonated drink formulations. This extract is popular where clarity of the formulated product is a prerequisite.
  2. Baobab fruit pulp powders: Typically used in dairy formulations (yogurt), instant powder mixes, smoothies and jams.
  3. Baobab pectin cubes: Ingredient for fruit bars, breakfast cereal and snacks.
  4. Baobab oil: Ideal as a carrier oil in cosmetic applications.

UNIQUE SELLING POINTS

  • An exotic ingredient with a unique taste.
  • Exceptionally rich in antioxidants + essential vitamins & minerals.
  • Suitable for use in a wide range of food & drink products.
  • Ethically & sustainably sourced and produced.
  • African iconographic status.
  • Novel food approved, Europe; GRAS approved, USA

*The values for apples, apricots,

bananas and peaches are all for dehydrated, not fresh fruit

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