Malpighia emarginata is a tropical fruit-bearing shrub or small tree in the family Malpighiaceae. Common names include acerola, Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry and wild crepemyrtle. Acerola is native to South America, Southern Mexico and Central America, but is now also being grown as far north as Texas and in subtropical areas of Asia, like India.
It is known for being extremely rich in vitamin C, almost as much as camu camu, although it also contains vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3 as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids which provide important nutritive value and have antioxidant uses. The vitamin C produced by the fruit is better absorbed by humans than synthetic ascorbic acid.
The fruit is edible and widely consumed in the species’ native area, and is cultivated elsewhere for its high vitamin C content. There are 1677.6 mg of vitamin C in 100 g of fruit. The fruit can be used to make juices and pulps, vitamin C concentrate,, and baby food, among other things.