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Superfruits: Super-silly?

April 17, 2012|By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • A mangosteen, one of many purported "superfruits."
A mangosteen, one of many purported "superfruits." ( )

Maqui, mangosteen, lingonberry -- superfruits! Though the scientific jury’s out on whether these superhero fruits are any better than the common kind, one thing is clear: A lot of the mystique is about marketing, as an article by Karen Ravn in The Times' Saturday section explained. Another fact that's evident: Their names invite punning.

A recent conversation between writer and editor while crafting the aforementioned story on the superfruit trend:

W: have a superweekend.

E: Acai ya later!

W: You maqui me laugh.

E:  Goji on with you.

W:  No, really, I liked your chokeberry much!

E:  It's lingonberry good that your article will run on the 31st.

W: I don't believe jujube putting me on.

E: We’ll even pay you, because we're in the blackcurrantly.

W: To lychee's own, but this is a favorite with me.

E: You win. Take a bao, baby.

W: Am i blue? berry! what's left to try?

E:  I don’t think we can get noni more out of this.

W:  So that was the last straw? berry well.

Ravn's story explained that:

a) "Superfruit" is a marketing term and that the first anointed superfruit was the blueberry;

b) some are now promoting fruits they call “extreme superfruits”;

and c) the high levels of antioxidants in the fruits (which may help ward off cancers and other diseases) don’t necessarily mean they are better for you than fruits with lower antioxidant  counts. Maybe at a certain level we max out, and adding more doesn’t help.

Superfruits, of course, are not to be confused with the now-highly popular raspberry ketones, touted as being a "miracle fat-burner in a bottle," though you will find ketones in fruits, and not just raspberries. They are among the chemicals responsible for fruity aromas and tastes.

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