Borojoa patinoi, commonly known as Borojó, is a mid sized (3
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
Borojó is an Emberá word meaning: boro = head, ne-jo = fruit.
Head-shaped fruit, or round, globulous fruit.
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%. It 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
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.