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What is Cupuacu?

Clara asks…What can you tell us about Cupuacu and the best place to buy it?

The Beauty Brains respond4879170540_f4baa12052

Cupuacu is a tropical fruit (or is it a nut?) that is similar to the cacao nut (or is it fruit?) According to those in the know, Cupauacu smells like a cross between chocolate and pineapple and tastes like pear mixed with banana. The pulp is rich in fatty materials (similar to cocoa butter) that make it an excellent moisturizer. In addition, research has shown that the seeds contain no less than nine known antioxidants (warning this list of chemical names may make your head spin just a little bit):

“(+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, isoscutellarein 8-O-beta-d-glucuronide, hypolaetin 8-O-beta-d-glucuronide, quercetin 3-O-beta-d-glucuronide, quercetin 3-O-beta-d-glucuronide 6′ ‘-methyl ester, quercetin, kaempferol, and isoscutellarein 8-O-beta-d-glucuronide 6′ ‘-methyl ester.”

Unfortunately it’s difficult to access the effect of antioxidants on skin so it’s unclear whether or not all these phyto-chemicals really provide an additional benefit. Still, this stuff smells great and it’s a great moisturizer so there seems little downside in trying it. (Assuming of course that there are no ethical sourcing issues – you know how sensitive our rainforests are!)

Where to buy?

Believe it or not, Amazon.com carries cupuacu butter. Use this link to buy Cupuacu (and support the Beauty Brains in the process.)

Image credit: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4097/4879170540_f4baa12052.jpg

J Nat Prod. 2003 Nov;66(11):1501-4. New bioactive polyphenols from Theobroma grandiflorum (“cupuaçu”). Yang H, Protiva P, Cui B, Ma C, Baggett S, Hequet V, Mori S, Weinstein IB, Kennelly EJ.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Dev February 27, 2015, 12:31 pm

    I source from a girl in Florida (http://rainforestchica.com/) that is a Fair Trade merchandiser. Great girl, great product. Her MuruMuru and Cupuaçu butter smells amazing! They are a nice addition to products and don’t need a fragrance depending on how much you use.

    • Chrys February 27, 2015, 4:24 pm

      To whoever you are: thank you!!!!! I got visits from your comment. Hit me up for a gift!

      • Randy Schueller February 27, 2015, 5:33 pm

        I’m glad we could be of help, Chrys! (Check your email, I just sent you a follow up note.)

      • Dev February 28, 2015, 4:00 am

        Hi Chrys!

        No thank you! I’ve been shopping with you for a year now and I have not been disappointed. You can reach me at monicacobblestone@gmail.com or I can send you a Facebook message on your FB page.

  • ArganOilsTheNuRadium February 28, 2015, 12:47 am

    It is a the fruit, and the stuff that the butter is from the pulp of the fleshy seed. And it is related to the cacao plant.
    What about when this antioxidant is paired in a gel topical solution containing something like spermide, (Which is my new favorite delivery of chemicals into the skin based on it’s discovery :P) would it a study to measure it’s anti-oxidant properties be easier to measure if it was delivered more effectively over a large base of participants?

    Aren’t we constantly using things from the ocean and rainforest to develop new drugs? (Or at least that’s the idea?)

    And am I crazy, but did you list 10 instead of 9 anti oxidants.

    • Randy Schueller February 28, 2015, 10:10 am

      You’re right, the ocean and rainforest are good sources of drugs and cosmetic ingredients. (And like we said in the post, “no less than nine known anti-oxidants.”)

  • Thomas Moran March 2, 2015, 8:14 pm

    Cupuaçu (Theobroma Grandiflora) is also a member of the chocolate family and is used in the Amazon for juices, mousses, puddings, chocolate substitute, etc. It can be highly sustainable as well – it pays to understand the sourcing of any ingredients, especially those from a treasure like the Amazon.

    Teadora is one company that uses sustainable Organic Cupuaçu Butter in many of the beauty products you can find at http://www.teadorabeauty.com, along with others such as babassu, murumuru, maracuja, açai, etc.

    Cupuaçu is known locally as the “Food of the gods”, and I believe it will be one of the next big superfruits to come to the US.

  • Gabriel Purdey September 23, 2015, 1:32 pm

    I’m not normally a person to spend time on ‘Beauty’ sites but I found this through a search about Cupuacu. I think it’s a really interesting fruit (yes it is a fruit I think! :) and it does taste a bit like Pineapple. I import it into the UK as I run a chocolate business (Discover Chocolate) I am really interested in this comment though Randy.

    ”Unfortunately it’s difficult to access the effect of antioxidants on skin so it’s unclear whether or not all these phyto-chemicals really provide an additional benefit”

    I like to think it does, but you’re right in saying it’s unclear. I was wondering if you knew any more about it since you had written the article or if any more research had been done?

    I only sell it as a powder right now but want to make it into a cupuacu ‘chocolate’ bar next year some time. Interestingly it has the effects of caffine but contains no caffeine at all, if only more people knew about it.

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