Latin American “superfoods” make their way into the Japanese market

Avocado/avocado harvest (Photo: Twitter/@@EnriqueAlfaroR)

The “superfoods”, products with a high nutritional value such as Peruvian cocoa, Mexican avocado or avocado or Brazilian açaí, are the great Latin American bet within the framework of Foodex, the largest food fair in Asia.

The main appointment of the tokiota food industrywhich opened its doors last Tuesday and through which some 30,000 visitors are expected to pass until it closes next Friday, welcomes in its 48th edition more than 2,500 companies from 60 countries, including dozens of eight Latin American countries.

on the part of Mexicothe avocado, one of the star products in the Japanese market, filled the country’s stand with different shades of green -depending on the level of ripeness-, which exported some 1,350 million dollars in agri-food products to Japan last year.

“The perception of the Mexican product is very good, it is a safe product, of high quality and very competitive in price. We are market leaders in avocado, we are in fourth place in pork and also leaders in asparagus, tequila and mezcal”, he explained to efe Alberto Cuéllar, head of the Agriculture area of ​​the Mexican embassy in Japan.

Brazilfor its part, dyed its Foodex stand purple with the açaía palm fruit that grows wild, the berries of which constitute a essential food in the diet of the indigenous people of the Amazon and that is now part of the regular breakfast of many people around the world.

Acai oil ( Wikimedia Commons )
Acai oil ( Wikimedia Commons )

“The main reason for its popularity is the nutritional benefit it provides, since it It is rich in antioxidants, but also the social aspect, since this fruit allows us to maintain the current state of the forests”, explained Izabella Mello, from the Brazilian company Petruz, which markets this product frozen and in powder form.

According to Mello, who recommends eating it for breakfast mixed with banana and granola, the farmers who collect this wild fruit decide to keep the forest intact and not sell their land to large corporations for more intensive uses.

Peruwhich has been positioning itself as a producer of “superfoods” internationally with supplements such as bruise -a type of powdered Peruvian ginseng-, opted this year for the cocoa and its great antioxidant properties and beneficial fats.

“Cocoa is antioxidant and energetic and it is a very natural product that can be produced organically,” said Gennaro Lettieri, founder of the artisanal chocolate shop Tesoro Amazónico, which produces organic chocolate, cocoa beans and mass, as well as a type of sugar-free sweetener based on this product.

Europe, to date, is the continent with the greatest admiration for cocoa and its Peruvian derivatives, since it agglomerates 34% of exports.
Europe is the continent with the greatest admiration for cocoa and its Peruvian derivatives: it agglomerates 34% of exports. (Fountain: /)

In addition to its well-known beef, the Argentines brought to Foodex this year their healthy yerba mate teaa product that is now seeking to break through in the Japanese market where the consumption of other types of teas is already common, such as matcha or sencha -varieties of green tea-.

Mate contains many minerals and polyphenols so it is good for energy”, said Yoichi Maeno, importer of the well-known brand of yerba mate Taragüi to Japan, although as he explained, the Japanese consumer still has to get used to its taste.

The Argentine company Pietrelli also brought its dehydrated fruitssuch as raisins and plums, which are used for consumption as a “snack” or also in preparations such as bread or pastries, and have a lot of nutritional fiber.

(With information from EFE)

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