Acerola fruit is 91% water, and 8% carbohydrates, and contains negligible protein and fat (table). The fruit also supplies manganese at 29% DV, while other micronutrients are uniformly low in content (table). In 100 grams (3.5 oz) reference amount, acerola fruit provides an exceptional content of vitamin C at some 20 times the Daily Value (DV) (table). Whereas the content of sugar, soluble solids and titratable acids increases, the vitamin C content decreases with the ripening process of the fruit. Therefore, the immature green fruit is harvested for industrial use of the vitamin C.Besides the high vitamin C content, acerola also contains phytonutrients like phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and carotenoids.
Three years after planting, trees start producing fruits. 3-4 weeks after flowering, a number of bright red drupes 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) in diameter with a mass of 3–5 g (0.11–0.18 oz) mature.
The shell of the fruit is smooth and very thin. Its shelf life of 2-3 days at ambient temperature makes it highly perishable. Drupes are in pairs or groups of three, and each contains three triangular seeds.
The drupes are juicy and high in vitamin C (300–4600 mg/100g) and other nutrients. They are divided into three obscure lobes and are usually acidic to subacidic, giving them a sour taste, but may be sweet if grown well.