New SuperBerry Available in New Zealand

New SuperBerry Available in New Zealand

6 July 2010, 1:55PM

North of Auckland company Matakana SuperFoods, who last year Introduced the Chia seed to the New Zealand market, has launched the first release of the Maqui Berry to the New Zealand health industry.

The Maqui berry (Aristotelia Chilensis) is the latest “Super Food” to be released in the USA and UK and has created quite a buzz in the berry and health industries overseas. Dubbed “The New King Of SuperFoods” the Maqui berry has stunned health scientists and berry growers with its antioxidant score of around 95,000 u mol TE/100g - even higher than the Acai palm berry from Brazil.

Interestingly, the Maqui berry has been used for centuries by the Mapuche Indians of Patagonia in Chile as a customary food and medicine. The Indians claimed it could cure a variety of ailments (including sore throat, kidney pain, ulcers, fever, hemorrhoids, inflammation, diarrhea, lesions, migraines and scars) and produce energy for their people – one of the only tribes never to be conquered in the South American region. As with most claims by indigenous people none were scientifically proven.

However since the heightened interest in Super Foods in the past five years, scientists have been taking a harder look at traditional foods that are held in high regard by native tribes and it appears they have come up trumps with the Mapuche’s Maqui berry. The berry grows in the harsh hill country of Patagonia and is packed with powerful disease-fighting Anthocyanins and other natural berry bioactives which have been studied for their ability to support the body’s natural defence against cancer and also support cardiovascular, lung and musculoskeletal function.

The Maqui berry is also thought to support a healthy immune system and even the way our body utilizes body fat. Adding Maqui berry powder to a balanced diet and basic exercise routine is the latest trend in high antioxidant/natural weight control in the U.S and U.K The berry is said to taste like a cross between blueberry and cranberry, and the leaves and bark of the 3-5m shrub-like Maqui tree also have anti-viral medicinal qualities and are being studied for possible use in the pharmaceutical industry. The Maqui berry is available in NZ as a high-grade dried powder to add to smoothies and drinks and is also available in capsule form.

For where to purchase Maqui, visit or contact your local Pharmacy/Health food store.