Corozo, tropical fruit of the corozo palm

The Corozo is a neutral fruit that comes from varied species of plants, known as palm Corozo , which have different sizes, shapes, and leaves.

It is an edible fruit with different uses and also has excellent medicinal properties and many benefits.

What is the corozo?

The corozo or corojo is the name given to different species of tropical palms in different parts of Latin America. These palms are mostly lush and very showy.

They are neutral fruits such as peanuts, macadamia nuts, cocoa , hazelnuts, almonds, avocados or coconut. In addition, they are the edible fruits of different types of palms that inhabit restricted groups of small forests. The different palms that make up this species of trees commonly have strong thorns on their trunks.

Where does the corozo come from?

In the forests that are formed with the corozo palms, animals coexist that protect themselves from the elements, taking advantage of the protection offered by the numerous branches of the palms. This diversity of palms popularly known by the name of Corozo, are from the Caribbean, Central and South America.

The corozo palms can be found in various ways but it is becoming less common to see them in the wild.

On the other hand, and due to their interest and increased consumption of this fruit, there are plantations of these palms, especially in Mexico. In addition, there are important plantations in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Bolivia, the Antilles, the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Venezuela.

Different species of corozo

Depending on the areas found by the corozo palm, different species can be found, but all varieties belong to the Arecaceae families. Their scientific names that depend on the common name they receive and the regions where they are found:

  • Aiphanes horrid
  • Acrocomia percentage o Acrocomia aculeata.
  • Bactris guineensis
  • Elaeis guineensis

Some of the species of corozo palms have sharp thorns on their trunks and measure up to 15 meters, which makes it difficult to obtain their fruits. As a curiosity, the natives of these areas scrape the bark of these palms to get the fruits and take advantage of the thorns to make needles and hooks for fishing .

The most common for the extraction of these fruits is to use the Acrocomia plant species. It is easier to use and although we have already seen that there are varieties of species of this plant, the uses are mainly focused on Acrocomia.

What is corozo used for?

The wood of these palms is used in the manufacture of different objects. Of some of the species of these Corozo trees, their wood is used for the construction of houses , and in other aspects related to the habitat. Also based on its wood, the well-known flutes are made , which they call the millo flute, which is used as an instrument in cumbia, bagpipes and other musical genres.

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The fruits appear in the tops of these palms that can be up to 3 or 5 meters wide. It is a kind of plum , blueberry or it can even have an acai- like appearance  With a strong gastronomic tradition since the arrival of the African slaves.

This plant, as we already know, has a variety of uses and, in addition to food, oil is extracted from the seed and pulp, which is then processed for the manufacture of all kinds of cosmetics . The seed is also used to make rings, necklaces and bracelets by local artisans.

Corozo buttons

The manufacture of corozo-based buttons is very remarkable . Because of its structure, button artisans say that no two seeds are completely identical and that each button is unique.

The corozo shell is one of the easiest natural materials to dye. For this reason, buttons made from this material have been distinguished, resulting in buttons of great strength, shine, texture and quality.

Corozo buttons began to be imported into Europe at the end of the 18th century, but it was not until the 1920s that it began to be industrialized.

Since the appearance of plastic materials, the corozo went into the background until these buttons became a hard-to-see artisan product. These types of materials are unique and above all, they are made with the utmost respect for nature and the environment.

Therefore, it is a shame that sustainable products such as the corozo button are replaced by the plastic that is doing so much damage to the planet.

The fruit of the corozo palm

The mass inside the fruit has a fibrous texture with a good characteristic smell and a flavor that is similar to that of coconut . The fruit of the Corozo, is edible and comes from various and different palm plants, it has a similarity to the coconut for its cover that is hard and strong. When ripe, it has a deep purple color, and has a single seed.

This fruit native to the Caribbean, which is also similar to a grape, has a strong red color , it is not eaten alone, due to its acid flavor, while prepared in juices, cocktails, ice cream, jams and preserves delight the palate. It has cooling properties and they are rich in vitamins.

Uses of corozo

Corozo juice is made from the red colored fruit of corozo, which is given medicinal properties , as a nutritious drink in case of anemia and weakness. Due to its flavor and high amount of antioxidants, the corozo fruit has great potential in the Latin American market, in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

In the Caribbean, it is traditional to make different juices and wines (if you let the juice ferment) with its characteristic red color. It is also used  in traditional cuisine in areas of the Caribbean and is used to make sauces for
accompany seafood, fish and various sweets.

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The corozo is the fruit of a palm tree, similar to the sago palms . This palm tree has different uses, of which we can name that its stem is used to obtain fiber, feed animals such as cattle, and to extract oil and alcohol.

The Colombian corozo

The Colombian corozo is used to make fresh and fermented beverages. In addition to drinks, cocktails and sweet corozo will be prepared. The liqueurs used to prepare cocktails are usually brandy or vodka.

In addition to the use that this fruit has in the kitchen, the people of the coast use the trunk of the plant to make furniture . From the dried seed they obtain a kind of butter used not only in cooking, but also for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.

Benefits of corozo

The benefits of these types of fruits are varied but if we focus on the corozo we can highlight the following:

1. Benefits for the circulatory system

The unsweetened corozo juice can help against cholesterol , to lose weight and to reduce sugar levels. It is also known as a protector of the cardiovascular system.

It is very useful in treating hepatitis and increases hemoglobin in cases of blood loss.

Also, thanks to the nutritional composition of these fruits we can list different medicinal properties, different healing properties for the human body. The roots are extraordinary in treatments to combat and prevent hypertension and diabetes . [1]

2. Rich in anthocyanins

In addition, all varieties of corozo have properties and health benefits because they have a large amount of anthocyanins , which are natural pigments.

3. Rich in vitamins and minerals

The fruits of the corozo are rich in Vitamin, A, C and E , and minerals such as magnesium , iron and calcium , which intervene in the growth of the tissues of the human body and therefore, in the formation and regeneration of collagen, bones and help prevent vision-related conditions.

4. A natural antioxidant

It is a great natural antioxidant that prevents premature aging of cells, as shown by different studies.

5. Intestinal regulator

It is also a great help for anemia and prevents constipation and diarrhea.

Conclusions

As a result of the explanation, it seems that the corozo is a fruit from another time but with beneficial nutritional properties for today.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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