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Borojoa patinoi Borojo   Rubiaceae

Borojo, Borojoa patinoi

Borojo, Borojoa patinoi

Borojoa patinoi, commonly known as Borojó, is a mid sized (3 to 5m) Tropical forest tree that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. It grows in the northwest area of Colombia in the Chocó Department and in the Esmeraldas Province of Ecuador, in areas of high humidity (over 85%) and an average temperature of 28°C, both in the wild and on local farms.

Borojó is an Emberá word meaning: boro = head, ne-jo = fruit. Head-shaped fruit, or round, globulous fruit.

Fruit features

The fruit is large (about 12 cm length) with a round shape and brown color and average weight 740-1000 grs. The pulp represents 88% of the total weight. Each fruit has 90 to 640 seeds. Borojo has high levels of protein, phosphorus, ascorbic acid, calcium and iron.

Borojo is used in the preparation of jam, wine, desserts and traditional medicines with supposed aphrodisiac effects. It is also used by the local communities against hypertension, bronchial diseases and malnutrition.

A study commissioned at Rutgers University by Nutropical, a private company, found that borojo fruit powder had a high and significant content of polyphenols as measured by the Folin-Ciocalteu polyphenol test. Most notably, the researchers believe that the key polyphenol found in borojo may be novel. Work continues to identify the compound and/or elucidate the chemical structure of this novel compound. An analysis conducted by the same company found that borojo has an ORAC value of over 54 μmolTE/g (5400 µmolTE/100g). The form of the fruit that was tested, however, is not mentioned (fresh, freeze-dried, spray-dried, etc.)

Borojoa sorbilis is a very similar species, also used with commercial purposes. Borojó de la Amazonia (Amazonas borojo), Duroia maguirei, is a wild species in a different Rubiaceae genus, which grows up to 8m and has a smaller edible fruit. Claes Persson (1999)

The DNA studies of samples from several Rubiaceae genus, have shown that Borojoa is closely related to Alibertia, in particular Alibertia edulis. Fifteen other species such as Alibertia sessulis, Alibertia beertierifolia and the Stacyarrhena and Glossotipula genus also have similarities.

Borojo's economic importance: Borojo can be found in the wild and commercial plantations. It is used for human consumption as: Juice, ice cream, capsules and jelly, to mention a few.

The Borojo tree is about 3-5 meters. The fruit has 7 to 12 centimeters in diameter, and its color is green. The pulp is brown, acid, and very dense (30º Brix, consisting mostly of fructose and glucose). The fruit has around 90 to 600 seeds, and it is considered ripe when it falls in the floor.

Under the name Borojo are known some species of Rubiaceae, that grow in the Amazonia and Central America, all of them with the same popular use, and with similar properties.

Geographic distribution and origin:

Some parts of Colombia (Humid forests), Ecuador, and Panama (Darién). Borojo is found in the rainy forests, on the rainy region of the Pacific coast of Colombia, where the annual average rain fall is more than 4,000 mm; The average temperature is 28ºC and the relative humidity 85%. IBorojo, Borojoa patinoit grows in the shade of other trees. Adapts well up to 1,200 m altitude.

This plant grows mainly in the zone of “Geographic Chocó”. Among other species of the genus Borojoa, only the so called “puruí from Bajo Amazonas, (B. sorbilis y B. verticillata), are similar to chocoan borojo.

Characteristic DNA sequences of main species of Borojoa and of Borojoa sp. Have been determined by Claes Persson , from Botanical Institute, Göteborg University, Sweden.

The Borojo fruit weights an average of 740 g, where 88% is pulp, and 12% seeds and shell. The pulp of this fruit has high content of carbohydrates and calcium.