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Baomix : the extraordinary benefits of the baobab fruit pulp

The baobab tree (Adansonia digitata L) is a member of the Bombacaceae family and a genus of eight species of tree. The baobab is widely distributed through the savannas and drier regions of Africa but it is also common in America, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, China and Jamaica.

The generic name honours Michel Adanson, the French naturalist who described Adansonia for the first time. Digitata refers to the fingers of a hand, which the leaflets bring to mind.

Baomix production and Baobab fruit pulp health benefit

The tree is also commonly called the upside-down tree, bottle tree, and monkey-bread tree. The trees reach heights of 20 metres with a trunk 10 metres in diameter and branches 50 metres in diameter.

The baobab has long been an important source of human nutrition. Indigenous peoples traditionally use the leaves, bark, roots, fruit and seeds as foodstuffs, as well as in medicines for humans and animals.

Fruit harvesting and production process

Upon pollination by fruit bats, the tree produces large green or brownish fruits which are capsules and characteristically indehiscent (they don’t open to release fruit). The capsules contain a soft, whitish, powdery pulp and kidney-shaped seeds.

All baobab fruit used in our production comes from Senegal. The fruits are collected right in Senegal’s driest regions, under the supervision of expertly-qualified professionals. We focus our activity on abundant species of baobab, whose fruit can be collected with minimal environmental impact. Consequently, the fruits and seeds are the main parts of the plant that are collected, rather than the roots or bark of a particular species.

We use a simple, exclusively mechanical process to obtain the fruit pulp. After the fruit is harvested, the hard outer shell of the fruit is cracked open and the contents are removed. The seeds are then separated from the fibrous material and mesocarp. This is screened to remove further unwanted fibrous and flaky material, leaving a fine mesocarp powder (fruit pulp). Finally, the food grade powder is milled and packaged.

Baomix organic Baobab fruit pulp

Baomix organic Baobab fruit pulp

Vitamins and minerals

Baobab fruit is known for its high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C); specifically, 100 g of wet pulp contains up to 300 mg of vitamin C, approximately six times more than the ascorbic acid content of one orange or lemon.

The fruit also contains other essential vitamins, such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin or PP).

In addition, the fruit contributes to the supply of other important dietary nutrients, such as minerals. 100 g of wet pulp contains about 300 mg of calcium, 3000 mg of potassium and 30 mg of phosphorus.

Serving instructions

Suggested intake — 5-15g per day. Use baobab as a perfect addition to your desserts and smoothies. It is also excellent for dipping fruit into to add a little bit of extra scrummyness.


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Baobab’s are truly remarkable trees and are often referred to as: upside down trees, milk bottles, bottle-brushes, chamber pots, wine coolers, water buckets, teapots, giant scent-bottles, Grecian urns, and some even resemble misshapen carrots or radishes.

But make no mistake these exquisitely evolved beauties thrive in climates where people and other plants have a very hard time just making a living.

The Astounding Baobab

The Astounding Baobab

 

Description

Essentially, Baobab’s are massive canteens, storing enough water to tolerate many months of drought. Asbestos-like bark protects them from the heat of surface fires. And they sprout new shoots from their roots, and new roots from their trunk too.

In fact, apart from a single specimen of the Montezuma cypress at Tule in southern Mexico – Baobab’s have the largest circumference of any of the 80,000 different kinds of trees on the planet. Some big “bottle-brushes” can even attain a height equivalent to a 10-storey building.

There are eight species of Baobab: six in Madagascar, one in Australia and one in Africa. Baobabs are found in 31 countries in Africa including four specimens in South Africa known for their girths that exceed 100 feet.

In the absence of an annual tree ring it is difficult to exactly age these magnificent survivors. It is believed that they can reach almost 1,000 years.

Michel Adanson a French explorer and naturalist discovered the first Baobab in August of 1749 on the island of Sor in Senegal. He was amazed at the incredible properties of these awesome trees.

Composition

All eight species have different shaped seedpods ranging from long, curved African one to apple-shaped and egg-shaped ones in Madagascar.

The seedpods contain small black bean-like seeds and are delicious and nutritious raw or roasted. They are an alternative for coffee beans.

The white pulp, which protects the seeds, makes a sherbet-like or lemonade drink rich in vitamin C. The pulp can also be used in baking as a substitute for cream of tartar and it is also a potent medicine as a replacement for quinine (antimalarial drug).

Empty seedpods are made into cups, snuff boxes and used as fishing floats. When the seedpods are burnt, the ashes are used as an efficacious soap. In addition, the seedpods are an important food source for critters including half the world’s species of lemur in Madagascar and native species of squirrels.

The white flowers and pale green foliage are edible.

The bark can be harvested, without killing the tree, similar to Portuguese cork oak. Baobab bark can be pounded to make rope and bark clothing or flattened to make excellent roof tiles.

The flowers of African and Australian Baobab’s are white. The Madagascar species are scarlet. Three species of long-tubed hawk moths pollinate the pungent flowers. The other three Baobab species have rancid smelling flowers mimicking rotting carrion to attract bats as their pollinators. Flowering and hence pollinating only occurs at night in all eight species.

History

Baobab’s evolved about 15 million years ago, probably first on Madagascar. Thick-shelled, waterproofed seedpods floated east to Africa and west to Asia and finally to northwest Australia.

In the absence of lemurs in Australia, Baobab’s evolved a self-opening seedpod; a soft, thin shell that breaks when a two pound seedpod hits the ground.

African slaves brought Baobab seeds to the Caribbean island of St. Croix in the 17th century. Today there are over 100 splendid Baobab spread across the island. There is also a large, young specimen in the Fairchild Tropical garden in Miami.

A World Bank dam at Kariba, Zimbabwe drowned thousands of Baobabs. And tens of thousands of Baobabs were massacred in West Africa because they were host to insect pests which plagued the cocoa and cotton plantations. (The insects found new host plants and the absurd slaughter were deemed senseless).

Indigenous Peoples, fruit bats, baboons, hawk moths, honeybees, squirrels and elephants all need the Baobab. Elephants and baboons dump seeds in their dung, which acts as a fertilizer pack. In return Baobabs provide food, vitamins, medicine, water and shade.

Nature has a flawless blueprint and these wonderful trees and the ecosystems that depend upon them are very worthy of conservation efforts.