Is Sambazon or Zola acai juice as good for you as the fresh fruit it? Are acai bowls actually healthy or are some of the nutrients and antioxidants lost in the process?
We don't know the answer to these but this test gives us a clue. The USDA only referred to this beverage as: Juice, acai blends. Of course that doesn't tell us the brand nor what other ingredients are part of the blend. That being said, the test was conducted in 2010 and back then, there were very few bottled acai juices being sold in the United States. Then, Sambazon was probably the most popular brand (and still is today) though it does not mean that's what was used in the test. There's just no way to know for sure which brand they tested.
With that caveat out of the way, if you compare this ORAC value with the acai concentrate, the difference is startling. The ORAC value of the acai fruit pulp/skin/powder is over 50 times higher than what this unidentified juice tests out at (102,700 vs. 1,767 respectively).
Now make no mistake about it, both are healthy levels of antioxidants. In fact, 1,767 is almost the exact same as kale! So with either, you are getting antioxidant content. Though obviously, given the fact that acai products and supplements are relatively expensive, certainly you want more than just the same amount as a more common (and cheaper) food like kale.
Conclusion? Acai bowls can be made any number of ways, either with frozen concentrate (the best in our opinion for preserving nutrition) or with freeze dried powders and juice blends such as this. In order to get the most nutrition possible from your bowl, it would probably be a good idea to probe the kitchen staff as to what form of acai they are using. If it's a juice blend like this, you may not be getting the amount of antioxidant content you think you are.
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010