In Brazil, there are three genus of Euterpe Mart considered of economic importance: juçara (E. edulis Mart), açaí-de-touceira (E. oleraceae Mart) and açaí solteiro (E. precatoria Mart). The first species occurs in the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, and the last two in the Amazon Basin. Although they have been exploited for years just as with palm production, currently its main product has been the fresh fruit, from which the acai pulp is extracted, specifically from the species clumped-trunk açaí and single-trunk açaí.
E. oleracea species, popularly known as açaí and acai-nut, is a palm classification “multicaule” occurring in the floodplains of many rivers in the eastern Amazon, in the states of Amapá, Maranhão, Pará and Tocantins. The species E. precatoria, commonly known as açaí-de-terra-firma, açaí-of-Amazons, acai single-trunk, solitary açaí is unlike E. oleracea, a single stipe palm tree, that is, it does not share a stalk, with naturally occurring on land or in the floodplains of some rivers in the Western Amazon, in the states of Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia and Roraima.
The most abundant and commercially exploited species is the clumped acai, with approximately 98% of fruit production. The state Pará, where there are large concentrations of this species, is the largest producer, accounting for nearly 90% of national production. The ecological differences between these two species, as well as the physicochemical properties of the pulp, are unknown. It is known that the single acai produces alternating period (first half) the açaí clumped (second half), which would be useful because it could supply the lack of fruits in the off-season from other species. It is known that single açaí occurs not only in lowland area, but also higher land, which could indicate that it is more suited to less moist soil conditions (According Aureny Maria Pereira Lunz, engineer agronomist, researcher at Embrapa Acre, in an article for the Porta Dia de Campo www.diadecampo.com.br).
The Euterpe precatoria Mart, or Acai Solitaire is critical to the Amazonians regarding food security for the pulp or "wine" extracted from the palm fruit. It is one of the most regularly consumed foods by forest communities. Thus, the development of projects to promote and ensure the consumption of their fruit would be an element that would certainly contribute to the bio-cultural heritage of the Amazon. However, so that natural populations of Açai Solitaire can continue to provide fruit production, resources and income for its users, vegetation and fruits to the fauna, it is urgently necessary to make an adjustment in the harvesting system. It is clear that the indiscriminate and destructive use reduces the supply of the resource and eliminates the benefits it offers. The adoption of safely climbing the tree as opposed to "overthrow" as a single harvesting method is essential to prevent the trunks from breakage and ensure the stable supply of the resource. This improvement in its management system is particularly relevant at a time when the world market of açaí is expanding. The use of the fruits of Euterpe precatoria Mart Amazon in mass markets requires that its use is accompanied by conservation initiatives.
Açaí is widely consumed in the Brazilian Amazon, as well as being of great importance in the diet of coastal inhabitants. Due to the high antioxidant capacity of acai pulp, it is treated as an energy source, functional and nutritional (food that can potentially provide health benefits), its use has expanded beyond the Amazon frontier, making it popular in urban centers in other areas in Brazil and abroad.
Broad market consumption in cities and in foreign markets has had a negative effect on the palm. Originally, this area held one of the largest amounts of Euterpe precatoria Mart, but indiscriminate and illegal logging caused a significant reduction of its native population