Move Over, Acai. Here Comes the Maqui Berry

Natives of Chile have reveled in it for centuries. Now local entrepreneurs want to export the antioxidant-rich maqui berry and become the next super-food giants.

Move Over Acai. Here Comes The Maqui Berry

All right, acai berry. You had a good run.

There’s a new super-food vying for star of the juice cleanse, and it’s called the maqui berry. Like the rest of the lot, it has ridiculous amounts of antioxidants and the requisite claims of healing powers. The maqui has been farmed for centuries by the Mapuche Indians in southern Chile and is now, inevitably, being commercialized and hawked all over the world.

Ashlee Vance, the host of Hello World, took a recent trip to the wine country outside Santiago to see how the maqui berry is being processed by SouthAm Freeze Dry, a local company that specializes in freeze-drying and exporting fruits and vegetables.

The deep purple berries enter the factory, where they are cleaned and put through a day of freezing to lock in nutrients. They are then crushed into a fine powder that's perfect for body-purifying smoothies—or at least, staining your teeth.

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