Sambazon Pure Acai Smoothie Packs

Sambazon Pure Acai Smoothie Packs

Sambazon was the first company to market acai on a commercial scale in the US. Founded in 2000 by Ed Nichols and brothers Ryan and Jeremy Black, the company is dedicated to “using acai as a vehicle” to promote sustainable agriculture and preservation of the Amazon rainforest.  The company markets a variety of acai products, including juices/concentrates, smoothies, energy drinks, sorbet, frozen smoothie packs and supplements.  The frozen smoothie packs come in Original, Amazon Cherry and Pure Acai – which is the unsweetened, pure fruit puree.

Manufacturer’s Description: Sambazon acai products are all certified organic and great for anytime you’re hungry or looking for a natural energy boost. And as part of our mission to bring acai to you, we believe we also have to care for the planet and farmers. To do that, we’ve created a supply chain that benefits thousands of local families while protecting the Amazon rainforest through sustainable agriculture.

Product Label:

Serving Size 100g
Calories 80
Calories from Fat 50
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Omega 6 860mg
Omega 9 3360mg
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 10mg
Total Carbohydrate 7g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A 15%
Calcium 4%
Vitamin C 8%
Iron 6%
Ingredients: Organic Acai Palmberry Pulp, Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid

Comments: So who hasn’t heard of acai by now? Both Paul and I have commented on the “superfruit” phenomenon on the blog…suffice it to say, acai is nutritious stuff, but there’s zero human evidence that it can cure cancer, increase energy, help people lose weight/fat, and so on. In Brazil, it’s a popular food, but it’s not regarded as a cure-all.

Nonetheless, I figured I’d give it a whirl: you never know, after all. And the Sambazon product is one of the few relatively unprocessed products on the market…it’s about as close as you can get to consuming it the same way as the Brazilians do. So I picked up a month’s supply direct from Sambazon: 7 packs of 4, 100 g packages of flash-frozen acai – shipped on dry ice. It ran just a skosh under $60 – not exactly a bargain price, but less expensive than buying it freeze dried in caps, or extensively diluted in retort-sterilized, blended juices.

The 100g, single-serving packs were long and thin, so they thawed reasonably quickly. The resulting fruit puree had the consistency of Hershey’s Syrup, with a deep, red wine color – neat. It had a fruity, berry-like flavor, although this wasn’t apparent until I added some sweetener – as is, the stuff is virtually sugar-free. It was ok mixed in water, and pretty good mixed in kefir or yogurt. I pretty much ate it daily, throughout the month of December.

I regret to inform enthusiasts that I did not begin leaping out of bed in the morning, whistling Disney tunes; nor did I experience any dramatic increases in energy or drop a single pound. In short, I experienced nothing unusual: just the same old good health and strength I’m used to. This did not come as a surprise to me, as I normally consume a pretty good whack of antioxidant phytochemicals to start with: My cabinet is well stocked with green and white teas and there are resealable bags of frozen, unsweetened blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in the freezer. I also keep bags of spinach leaves and broccosprouts in the fridge for salads and sandwiches. I consume all of the above, + organic, raw cacao, almonds, walnuts, red wine and other assorted veggies and fruits on a more-or-less daily basis. So I’m doing just fine on the ORAC front already…and expect I’ve reached the point of diminishing returns.

This is not to knock Sambazon’s product – far from it. I doubt you can get closer to what’s available in the rainforest than this, short of a trek to Brazil. It’s pricey, although my local Fred Meyer is now selling it for around $5.50 per pack – which is less than what I originally paid, so it’s likely I’ll buy it again, every so often, as a change from my usual berries. It’s to Sambazon’s credit that they don’t make any wild/unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of their product – and, if nothing else, I like to reward good behavior. But I see no reason to revise my opinion about acai: it’s a nutritious food, but one of many…a “nice have” perhaps, but not a “must have.”

Taste:3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
Quality:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Efficacy:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Value:3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
Average:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

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