GUARANA (/ɡwəˈrɑːnə/ from the Portuguese guaraná ),
Paullinia cupana, syn. P. crysan, P. sorbilis) is a climbing plant in
the maple family,
Sapindaceae , native to the
Amazon basin and
especially common in Brazil.
As with other plants producing caffeine, the high concentration of caffeine is a defensive toxin that repels herbivores from the berry and its seeds.
The guarana fruit's colour ranges from brown to red and contains black seeds which are partly covered by white arils . The colour contrast when the fruit is split open has been compared with the appearance of eyeballs, and has become the basis of an origin myth among the Sateré-Mawé people.
* 1 History and culture * 2 Composition
* 3 Uses
* 3.1 Safety * 3.2 Beverages
* 4 References * 5 External links
HISTORY AND CULTURE
The word guarana comes from the Guaraní word guara-ná, which has its origins in the Sateré-Maué word for the plant, warana, that in Tupi-Guarani means "fruit like the eyes of the people"
The Guaranís would make an herbal tea by shelling, washing and drying the seeds, followed by pounding them into a fine powder. The powder is kneaded into a dough and then shaped into cylinders. This product is known as guarana bread, which would be grated and then immersed into hot water along with sugar.
This plant was introduced to European colonizers and to Europe in the 16th century by Felip Betendorf, Oviedo , Hernández , Cobo and other Spaniard chroniclers. By 1958, guarana was commercialized.
A partial list of the components of guarana seeds. CHEMICAL COMPONENT PARTS PER MILLION
ASH < 14,200
FAT < 30,000
PROTEIN < 98,600
RESIN < 70,000
The table contains a partial listing of some of the chemicals found in guarana seeds, although other parts of the plant may contain them as well in varying quantities.
According to the Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank, guaranine (better known as caffeine ) is found in guarana, and is identical to caffeine derived from other sources, like coffee , tea , and mate . Guaranine, theine, and mateine are all synonyms for caffeine when the definitions of those words include none of the properties and chemicals of their host plants except caffeine. Natural sources of caffeine contain widely varying mixtures of xanthine alkaloids other than caffeine, including the cardiac stimulants theophylline and theobromine and other substances such as polyphenols , which can form insoluble complexes with caffeine. The main natural phenols found in guarana are (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin .
In the United States, guarana fruit powder and seed extract have not been determined for status as "generally recognized as safe " (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration , but rather are approved as food additives for flavor (but not non-flavor) uses.
* ^ Johannes, Laura (March 2, 2010). "Can a Caffeine-Packed Plant
Give a Boost?".
The Wall Street Journal . p. D3.
* ^ Bempong DK, Houghton PJ, Steadman K (1993). "The xanthine
content of guarana and its preparations". Int. J. Pharmacog. 31 (3):
175–81. doi :10.3109/13880209309082937 . ISSN 0925-1618 .
* ^ Ashihara H, Sano H, Crozier A (February 2008). "