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Family Sapotaceae
Pouteria sapota (Jacq.) H E Moore & Stearn

Ren xin guo

Scientific names Common names
Achras mammosa Bonpl. ex Miq. [Illegitimate] Chico-mamei (Tag.)
Achras zapota major Jacq. Mamei (Tag.)
Bassia jussaei Griseb. Sapote (Tag..)
Calocarpum huastecanum Gilly Mamey (Engl.)
Calocarpum sapota (Jacq.) Merr. Mammee sapote (Eng.)
Calospermum parvum Pierre Mamey sapote (Engl.)
Calocarpum mammosum Pierre Marmalade fruit (Engl.)
Lucuma bonplandii Kunth Marmalade plum (Engl.)
Lucuma mammosa Gaertn.  
Pouteria sapota (Jacq.) H.E.Moore & Stearn  
Sapota mammosa Mill  
Sideroxylon sapota Jacq.  
Sapote and zapote are common names shared by Calocarpum sapota, chico-mamei and Diospyros ebenaster, zapote negro.
Pouteria sapota (Jacq.) H.E.Moore & Stearn is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ren xin guo.
FRENCH: Sapotier a gros fruit.
GERMAN: Große Sapote, Marmeladen-Pflaume.
JAPANESE: Mamii sapote.
SPANISH: Mamey, Mamey zapote, Mamey sapote, Mamey colorado, Zapote.

Chico-mamei is a large tree with a thick trunk and stout branches, growing to a height of 15 meters. Leaves are clustered toward the ends of the branchlets, oblanceolate, 12 to 30 centimeters long, 4 to 7 centimeters wide, smooth, light green above, pale brownish beneath, and pointed at both ends. Flowers are white, 6 to 12 in the axils of fallen leaves, and measures 10 to 12 millimeters across. Sepals are ten, densely imbricated in several series. Corolla has five lobes. Fruit is oblong or ovoid, 7.5 to 15 centimeters long, with a thick, russet-brown skin and firm, reddish flesh which is very sweet and pleasant tasting.

- Planted in Luzon, particularly the Cavite and Laguna Provinces.
- Introduced from Mexico by the Spaniards.

- Seeds contain amygdalin; a gutta percha-like substance, fatty oil with stearin and glyceride.
- Bark is reported to yield hydrocyanic acid.

- Fruits yielded new carotenoids, cryptocapsin-5,6-epoxide, 3′-deoxycapsanthin-5,6-epoxide, and cryptocapsin-5,8-epoxides. (5)
Analysis of oil from fruits revealed benzaldehyde, hexanal, and palmitic acid.

- Nutrient analysis per 100 g of edible portion yielded 114.5 calories, 55.3-73.1 g moisture, 0.188-1.97 g protein, 0.09-0.25 g fat, 1.41-2.97 carbohydrates, 1.21-3.20 g fiber, 0.89-1.32 g ash, 28.2-121.0 mg calcium, 22.9-33.1 mg phosphorus, 0.52-2.62 mg iron, 0.045-0.0.665 mg carotene, 0.002-0.025 mg thiamine, 0.006-0.046 mg riboflavin, 1.574-2.580 mg niacin, 8.8-40.0 mg ascorbic acid; and amino acids, 19 mg tryptophan, 12 mg methionine, 90 mg lysine. (8)
- Study of ripe fruits of red mamey (Pouteria sapota) yielded new carotenoids, cryptocapsin-5,6-epoxide, 3′-deoxycapsanthin-5,6-epoxide, and cryptocapsin-5,8-epoxides. (9)

- Study of mamey sapote defatted meal (MSDM). MSDM yielded a protein content of 240.6 g/kg with glutelins (57.25%), prolamins (18.65%), albumins (17.85%), and globulins (6.25%). (see studies below) (12)

- Considered emetic, diuretic, anthelmintic.

Parts used
Sap, seeds, fruit pulp.


Fruit is pleasantly sweet tasting.
- Aztecs reported to use it for dressing the hair to keep it soft and to prevent dandruff. Seed coat used as a remedy for epilepsy.
- In Costa Rica, used for curing colds.
- Sap of tree said to be emetic and anthelmintic.
- Seeds used as diuretic.
- Pulverized seed is drunk with wine to cure gravel and heart affections.
- Powdered seeds used as remedy for renal colic.
- In Antilles, fruit pulp is used as sedative cataplasm. Also, infusion of bark used as pectoral.
- In Santo Domingo, seed kernel oil used as skin ointment and as hair dressing to hair loss. Oil is used as sedative for eye and ear problems. Seed residue after oil extraction used as poultice for painful skin afflictions. (8)
- Seed oil: Seeds and seed oil used in the manuafacture of soap, perfumerycosmetics, and pharmaceutical products. In olden times, used to fix colors of painted crafts and handicraft. (8)


Antioxidant / Radical Scavenging Activities: Ethyl acetate fraction of methanol extracts exhibited radical scavenging and antioxidant activities.
Trypanocidal: The methanol extract from P sapota stems exhibited trypanocidal activity in vitro against epimastigote form of Trypanosoma cruzi.
Lucumin and Related Glycosides: Three aromatic glycosides, lucumin, lucuminamide and lucuminic acid, were isolated from the seeds of Calocarpum sapota. (2)
Antioxidant: Study on fresh fruits of three Pouteria species, P sapota, P viridis, and P campechiana, yielded seven polyphenolic antioxidants: (+)-gallocatechin, (+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin, dihydromyricetin, (+)-catechin-3-O-gallate, and myricitrin. (3)
Comparative Antioxidant Activities: Study compared the antioxidant activities of M. zapodilla, C. caimito, and Pouteria sapota. All three have antioxidant properties. On -OH screening, P. sapota was second; on DPPH and ABTS assays, P sapota was third. (6)
Antioxidant / Phytoconstituents / Fruit: Study evaluated the antioxidnt and phytochemical profile of mamey fruit Hydrophilic extracts showed higher antioxidant capacity than the lipophili portion. Total soluble phenols content was 28.5 mg GAE/100 g fw, with p-hydroxybenzoic acid as main phenolic content. Total carotenoid content was 1127.9 µg/100 g fw, with ß-carotene as main constituent, in addition to lutein and violoxanthin. δ-tocopherol was 360.0 µg/100 g fw. (10)
α-Amylase Inhibitors / Kernel: Study reports on the extraction of α-amylase from kernel of Pouteria sapota. Results showed 95.8% pancreatic α-amylase inhibitory activity. TLC analysis reported the presence of rutin and quercetin related flavonoids in the kernel. (11)
Potential Source of High Purity Protein Isolate: Study evaluated the proximate composition and properties of protein fractions in a mamey sapote defatted meal (MSDM). MSDM yielded a protein content of 240.6 g/kg with glutelins (57.25%), prolamins (18.65%), albumins (17.85%), and globulins (6.25%). Results suggests the MSDM is suitable material for the production of a high-purity protein isolate with a potential as ingredient in meat or bakery products. (12)
Inactivation of Polyphenol Oxidase by Microwave Treatment: Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) is the enzyme responsible for quality loss in most fruits and vegetables, including mamey fruit (Pouteria sapota) whic undergoes rapid quaity decay through PPO activation. Inactivation of PPO in situ may be achieved by chemical or thermal treatment. Study reports on microwave treatment (MT) as an effective way to completely inactivate PPO without causing any significant damage to fruit tissue and shape with preservation of color, flavor and taste. (13)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update November 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / File:ARS- Pouteria sapota.jpg / Peggy Greb. Image Number D965-1 / This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration/ FFile:Koeh-099.jpg / Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen / 1897 / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Genus Pouteria: Chemistry and biological activity / Cintia A M Silva, Luiz A Simeoni, Damaris Silveira / Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy, 19(2A): 501-509, Abr./Jun. 2009
Constitution of Lucumin and Its Related Glycosides from Calocarpum sapota MERRILL / Takeda Tadahiro, Gonda Ryoko and Hatano Keiichiro / Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin 45(4), 697-699, 1997-04-15
Analysis of Polyphenolic Antioxidants from the Fruits of Three Pouteria Species by Selected Ion Monitoring Liquid Chromatography−Mass Spectrometry / Jun Ma, Hui Yang et al / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2004, 52 (19), pp 5873–5878 / DOI: 10.1021/jf049950k
Sorting Pouteria names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Cryptocapsinepoxide-Type Carotenoids from Red Mamey, Pouteria sapota / Gergely Gulyás-Fekete, Enrique Murillo, Tibor Kurtán, Tamás Papp, Tünde-Zita Illyés, László Drahos , Júlia Visy , Attila Agócs, Erika Turcsi, and József Deli * / J. Nat. Prod., 2013, 76 (4), pp 607–614 / DOI: 10.1021/np3007827
Comparative Antioxidant Activities of Manilkara zapodilla, Chrysophyllum cainto and Pouteria sapota /
LI An-ping*, XIE Bi-xia, WANG Sheng, and ZHONG Qiu-ping / ACTA HORTICULTURAE SINICA 2008, Vol. 35 Issue (2) :175-180
Pouteria sapota (Jacq.) H.E.Moore & Stearn / Synonyms / The Plant List
Sapote-Pouteria sapota (Jacq.) H.E. Moore & Stearn / Morton, J. 1987. / Sapote. p. 398–402. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.
Cryptocapsinepoxide-Type Carotenoids from Red Mamey, Pouteria sapota / Gergely Gulyás-Fekete, Enrique Murillo, Tibor Kurtán, Tamás Papp, Tünde-Zita Illyés, László Drahos, Júlia Visy∥, Attila Agócs, Erika Turcsi, and József Deli* / J. Nat. Prod., 2013, 76 (4), pp 607–614 / DOI: 10.1021/np3007827
Phytochemical and antioxidant characterization of mamey (Pouteria sapota Jacq. H.E. Moore & Stearn) fruit
Elhadi M. Yahia ⁎, Fabiola Gutiérrez-Orozco, Claudia Arvizu-de Leon / Food Research International 44 (2011) 2175–2181
/ T. SATHISHKUMAR*, S. ABARNA, M. MALINI, S. NITHYA, P. PRATHISHTA AND J. LAVANYA / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 3, Issue 4, 2011
Preparation, composition, and functional properties of a protein isolate from a defatted mamey sapote (Pouteria sapota) seed meal / A. Bernardino-Nicanor, C.H. Bravo-Delgado, G. Vivar-Vera, C.E. Martínez-Sánchez, A. Pérez-Silva, J. Rodríguez-Miranda & M.A. Vivar-Vera* / CyTA - Journal of Food, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 176-182, 2014 / DOI:10.1080/19476337.2013.810674
In situ inactivation of polyphenol oxidase in mamey fruit (Pouteria sapota) by microwave treatment / Gisela Palma-Orozco, José G Sampedro, Alicia Ortiz-Moreno, Hugo Nájera / J Food Sci. 2012 Apr;77(4):C359-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2012.02632.x.

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