The camucamuzeiro, Myrciariadubia (H.B.K) McVaugh, species of the Myrtaceae family, was first described in 1823 by Humboldt, Bompland and Kunth, as Psidiumdubium H.B.K. In 1963, Rogers McVaughtransferred this species to the Myrciaria genus, naming it then Myrciariadubia (H.B.K.) McVaugh. In Brazil, the camucamu is known as: caçari, araçádágua or sarão.

Native of the Amazon region, this tree occurs on the banks of lakes and rivers. Its geographical distribution goes from the central region of Pará and the middle and upper Amazon River to the western part of Peru and the far North of Brazil in the states of Roraima, through the Casiquiare River and the upper and middle Orinoco Basin.To the south, in the state of Rondônia, it occurs on the banks of the Ji-Paraná andCandeias rivers. The first occurrence of camucamuzeiro in Brazil dates from 1902 during the expeditions of the botanist A. Ducke into the Brazilian Rainforest.

Currently the camucamuzeirois raising a great interest because of its high potential to produce fruits with a high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The amounts may vary from 2,400 to 3,000 mg/100g inthe mesocarp and up to 5,000 mg/100g inthe peel. The fruit harvest is done in wild trees distributed along the Amazon rivers. The harvest may vary from 3 to 25 kg of fresh fruits per tree. The freeze-dried or frozen pulp is exported to countries like Japan, France and the United States for use in the food and pharmaceutical industries (vitamin C drops or tablets).

Morphology of the species:

T he root system is of conical type, it consists of a main root that reaches 0,50m in the longitudinal direction, with secondary roots spread horizontally within a radius that varies proportionally to the diameter of the shade of the plant canopy.

The trunk is formed by a main stem and several lateral branches reaching heights of up to 4 m atthe age of 20 years old.Some ecotypes have various stems with multiple branches coming out the soil forming second stems while others have a single stem. Its consistency is hard though flexible. This is why it needs a support when the tree is full of fruits to avoid stem fractures with the fruits´ overweight.The leaves are simple and have an oval, elliptical or lanceolate shape, measuring on average 4 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The apex has a rounded base and slightly wavy edges. The petiole measures on average 5 cm to 6 cm inlength by 1 mm to 2 mm in diameter and the plants that have three to seven tillers contain on average 170 leaves. The flowering may happen individually or in the form of inflorescence found in the leaf axils on the total length of the upper branches.

The inflorescence is formed by hermaphrodite flowers in an amount that ranges from 1 to 5peduncles; with globose or subglobose calyx, glabrous containing four oval lobes; the four petals corolla, which alternate with the oval sepals with acuminate and obtuse apex. The petals are usually white, with 125 stamens measuring 7 mm to 10 mm long, anthers of 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm long. The anthesis occurs in the morning, lasting until 10am. The fruits are like spherical berries with a smooth and shiny peel, going from red to purple. They have a diameter of 2 cm to 4 cm and four flattened seeds covered with a layer of white fibrils.

The edible portion has an average yield of 60 % of the fruit, 8.5 degrees Brix, a pH between 2.9 to 3.1 and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) ranging from 2400-3000 mg/100g of mesocarp. The seeds are kidney-shaped, measuring on average 1.2 cm width by 8 mm diameter. They weigh an average of 0,4g and are recalcitrant. That means they lose viability when stored in very humid places and at low temperatures. So it´s recommendedto sowimmediately after processing the fruits.


The camucamuzeiro is found growing spontaneously along watercourses, so in flooded and fertile soils with neutral pH, remaining flooded 3-9 months a year. However, it can also be cultivated in dry lands, in soils of low fertility and acid pH, in regions with annual rainfalls ranging from 1,700 to 3,000 mm.


The camucamuzeirois a typical plant of the tropical humid and hot climate where the average temperatures range from 22°C to 28°C, supporting minimum and maximum temperatures around 17 ºC e 35 ºC and a relative humidity ( RH) of 70% to 95%. In natural populations, the excessive shading becomes harmful because it induces the formation of phototropic plants which generate sprouts unable to produce fruits.In managed plantations of rational crops, the stage of plant nursery requires a shading of 5 days after transplanting.

Energetic and chemical components

The chemical composition of thecamucamuzeirofruit in 100g of pulp is as follows: the amount of vitamin C found in 100g of camucamu pulp compared to other fruits is the following: Agronomic aspects of cultivation. The planting of the camucamuzeirocan be done in two ways, namely: Production of clonal seedling ? In this process, the topic 2. Outbreeding seeds are used. They are collected in plants that show, in their natural habitat, high productivity and good agronomic characteristics.a) In a camucamuzeiro plantation, select only highly productive, well-developed, blossomingplants and free from pests or diseases; b) At the harvest of fruits intended for the supply of seeds for seedling production, collect the larger, healthier and riper fruits and; c) When buying seeds and/or seedling, observe always the origin and quality that can be verified through the germination power and format of the seedlings. Seed preparation.After the processing of the fruits (pulping, washing and drying), remove the seeds and sow as soon as possible since they are recalcitrant.The seeds should be extracted from ripe fruits (purplish color), since a more uniform germination can be achieved this way.

After removal from the fruits, the seeds should be washed and sown immediately, since theydon´t tolerate a large moisture loss without their viability being affected. When they are stored for approximately six months, it is recommended, after washing, to treat them during 15 minutes in a bleach solution (for one measure of bleach, four measures of water), and after another washing, they should be dried in the shade for 24 hours. Then the seeds should be treated with a dry fungicide powder and then packed in double plastic bags, kept at 20°C or at room temperature.Sowing: Prepare beds measuring 1 m in width by 12m in length by 0.80 m in height, with a cover providing 50% of shade.Use as substrate a mixture composed of dark soil and fine sawdust, at a ratio of three portions of dark soil for one of sawdust. The seeds should be sown in opened furrows in the longitudinal direction of the beds, about 10 cm apart from each other, with a depth of 2 cm, with around 70 seeds per linear meter. After sowing, cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. The germination of camucamu is very uneven. It can start from the 15th day after sowing, but about 90% of the germination is obtained 50 days after sowing.

The harvest

The harvest of camucamu is done manually with the utmost care in order not to damage the fruit.Orchards located on dried land start to produce fruits two years and half after planting. The harvest usually starts in September and goes on until March/April and it should be done two times per week. The fruits are ready to be harvested when they are semi-ripe i.e. presenting a green color with purplish spots. At this stage, the fruits contain a higher concentration of vitamin C in addition to being more convenient for the industrial processes because they have a consistency making them easier to package and transport for long distances.

Once harvested, the fruits are placed in wooden containers to avoid losses through squashing and they should be placed in the shadow. Very ripe and mashed fruits tend to deteriorate more quickly and should be consumed immediately ¨in natura¨or in juice. To increase their conservation and improve their appearance, some measures should be followed during the harvest.So, the fruits shouldn´t be in direct contact with the ground to avoid the penetration by fungi. A lot of care should be taken during the harvest to obtain fruits with good appearance to guarantee good selling prices. Yield of the fruits. In camucamuzeiro orchards located on dried lands, in the spacing interval of 3 m x 3 m (1,11 plants/ha), the initial yield is up to 6 kg of fresh fruits per plant/year, which corresponds to 6-7 tons of fresh fruits per hectare/harvest.

The harvest

After the harvest, the fruits go through a washing, selection and packing process aiming at improving their appearance to achieve better prices in the market. For the sale of the pulp, the camucamu is processed using both skin and pulp due to the significant content of vitamin C presentin both parts. The fruit skin gives also a purplish color to the pulp. Sale. The processing of camucamu can be done with fresh fruits, concentrated or frozen pulp depending on the existing conditions in the property. It seems easier to sell fresh fruits, but it discourages the producers to implement practices necessary for the quality improvement. This results in the sale of a low quality product and consequently low prices. Ideally, the producer should process the freshly picked fruits, following hygiene standards that willensure the quality of its product.Then, the pulp should be packed in plastic packaging and frozen for subsequent sale.

Source: Rajá Frutas

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