Keep an Eye on the Maqui Berry

The maqui berry may become the next superberry.

Association Chilealimentos estimated a growth area of about 170,000 hectares of which most is wild, although planted production is on the rise. Maqui berry exports reached $10.2 million in 2016, with South Korea the top export market. The association believes the berry has a market potential of $700 million.

Annual production of the berry is estimated around 2,000-metric tons annually, although the mountains in which the maqui berry grows is estimated to reach between 40,000-metric tons and 50,000-metric tons, according to a report in IEG Vu.

The same report noted just 2 grams of the fruit would help the consumers meet the daily requirements of Vitamin D, while it purportedly could relieve dryness of the eyes. The product is widely used in health supplements, and an increasing supply is finding its way into food and drink products.

The berry has the most polyphenols among berries, and has the highest concentration of the most powerful natural antioxidant, delphinidin, according to MaquiBerry from Chile. The organization noted the fruit has a variety of nutraceutical properties that can aid in the prevention of different diseases.

Parallels to another South American superberry may be inevitable. Brazil’s acai berry became the darling of health-conscious eaters, and Chile plans to follow that country’s blueprint for the maqui berry. Additionally, the country intends to develop the Chile maqui berry brand and develop a certificate of origin for the berry.