Brazil nuts are first introduced at the beginning of Rio 2 when Jewel is seen flying to The Birdhouse with a Brazil nut in her claws. She tries to explain to Blu that it will be their breakfast and that she wants to show their kids how to open one, but is interrupted by Tiago opening a can of Brazil nuts, claiming that "Dad already showed us!".
Brazil nuts play a key role in the movie's plot. They are part of the Spix's Macaw Tribe's and Red Macaw Tribe's main diets, and Eduardo is very protective of them. Blu later tries to find a Brazil nut for Jewel to impress her, only to cause "war" with the Red Macaws (actually sky soccer with Brazil nuts), which eventually leads to the Spix's Macaws losing their side of the grove (due to Blu accidentally scoring to the wrong side). When the loggers attempt to cut down the grove, the two tribes unite to stop them, even launching Brazil nuts as projectiles at one point.
In 2014, global production of Brazil nuts (in the shell) was 95,000 tonnes, remaining a consistent annual total since 2009. The largest producers were Bolivia (47% of world total) and Brazil (40%), and the United States was the largest importer, with 9% of the world production volume.
Effects of harvesting
Brazil nuts for international trade can come from wild collection rather than from plantations. This has been advanced as a model for generating income from a tropical forest without destroying it. The nuts are gathered by migrant workers known as castanheiros.
Analysis of tree ages in areas that are harvested shows that moderate and intense gathering takes so many seeds that not enough are left to replace older trees as they die. Sites with light gathering activities had many young trees, while sites with intense gathering practices had hardly any young trees.
Statistical tests were done to determine what environmental factors could be contributing to the lack of younger trees. The most consistent effect was found to be the level of gathering activity at a particular site. A computer model predicting the size of trees were people picked all the nuts matched the tree size data gathered from physical sites that had heavy harvesting.
Brazil nuts are 14% protein, 12% carbohydrate, and 66% fat by weight; 85% of their calories come from fat, and a 100-gram
amount provides 656 total calories. The fat components are 23% saturated, 38% monounsaturated, and 32% polyunsaturated. Due to their high polyunsaturated fat content, primarily omega-6 fatty acids, shelled Brazil nuts may quickly become rancid.
Nutritionally, Brazil nuts are an excellent source (> 19% of the Daily Value, DV) of dietary fiber (30% DV) and various vitamins and dietary minerals. A 100 gram amount (75% of one cup) of Brazil nuts contains rich content of thiamin (54% DV), vitamin E (38% DV), magnesium (106% DV), phosphorus (104% DV), manganese (57% DV) and zinc (43% DV) (right table). Brazil nuts are perhaps the richest dietary source of selenium, with a one-ounce (28 g) serving of 6 nuts supplying 774% DV. This is 10 times the adult U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance, more even than the Tolerable Upper Intake Level, although the amount of selenium within batches of nuts varies greatly.
The European Union has imposed strict regulations on the import from Brazil of Brazil nuts in their shells, as the shells have been found to contain high levels of aflatoxins, which can lead to liver cancer.
Brazil nuts contain small amounts of radium, a radioactive element, in about 1–7 nCi/kg or 40–260 Bq/kg, about 1000 times higher than in several other common foods; according to Oak Ridge Associated Universities, this is not because of elevated levels of radium in the soil, but due to "the very extensive root system of the tree."
Brazil nuts are a common ingredient in mixed nuts. Because of their large size, they tend to rise to the top upon forced vibrations likely encountered during transport, an example of granular convection, which for this reason is often called the "Brazil nut effect."
- In real life, Brazil nuts are too hard for the Spix's macaw to open.
- Brazil Nuts are Vulernable. So it is kind of realsitic that Jewel said "I never thought I could find one close to the city,"