The plant, Aristotelia chilensis, is also known as a Chilean wineberry. It is found growing throughout the rainforests of Chile and Argentina. Several years ago, maqui was touted as being the next big superfood. It didn't take long before unscrupulous diet pill manufacturers took advantage of that hype and started making unfounded/exaggerated claims related to weight loss, detox/cleansing, improved energy, anti-aging, and other health benefits for using it. That tainted image may be the reason macqui berry powder has fallen out of favor during the past few years. That's too bad, because as you see, its antioxidant content is quite high.What happens though when you compare maqui berry vs. acai berry? Who has the higher ORAC value? Well the most referenced number for maqui powder is 27,600 but we have been unable to locate an actual Brunswick Laboratories test report for that and to the best of our knowledge, it's not published online (no product manufacturer publishes it or links to a scan of it). For this reason, even though dozens of websites and products cite this number, it should be considered unverified.With that caveat out of the way, if you assume the value of maqui berry powder truly is 27,600, then its ORAC is about 70% lower than acai powder. What we can confirm is that fresh maqui have the value of 19,850.One important note to keep in mind is that acai is extremely unstable and degrades quickly when exposed to air and light. Ideally, its frozen pulp is the best form of consumption. Therefore, refined shelf-stable products using acai may or may not have a higher value. We do not have comparable sufficient evidence to validate the stability of maqui when exposed to air and light.What does maqui berry taste like? You could describe it as a hybrid of blueberry, black raspberry, watermelon, and perhaps even a hint of acai. It does have a tart taste though, so if you have a sweet tooth it might not be to your liking. However the tartness can easily be masked by blending a tablespoon into your smoothies and protein shakes containing sweeter ingredients. Its purple pigment is from anthocyanins, which demonstrate high amounts of antioxidants in-vitro. The specific type of anthocyanins in maqui are delphinidins, which you will also find in concord grapes.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't: First web-based database on total phenolics and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of fruits produced and consumed within the south Andes region of South America. J Agric Food Chem. NIH 2012