Chico is a much-branched tree growing to a
height of 8 meters. Leaves are oblong to narrowly oblong-obovate, 8
to 13 centimeters in length, pointed at both ends. Flowers are hairy outside,
6 to 8 millimeters long and 6-parted. Fruit is brown, fleshy, ovoid to round, 3 to 8
centimeters long, containing 5 or more shiny blackish-brown seeds. Fleshy is brown,
soft, slightly gritty, sweet, and very agreeable in flavor.
- Cultivated in most parts of
- Introduced from tropical America in the early colonial period.
- Cultivated in the tropics.
- Leaves contain a bitter principle
alkaloid, sapotin 0.076%, fixed oil 1.45%, etc.
- Fruit also yields sapotin, 0.013%.
- Seeds yield sapotin, saponin, achrassaponin, an alkaloid,
fixed-oil 16-23%, the bitter principle, sapotinine 0.08%, etc.
- Bark contains sapotin, saponin, and tannin 11.8%.
- Gum chicle contains 75% resin, gum (arabin) 10%, calcium oxalate,
- Fruit flesh yields saccharose 7%, dextrose 3.7%, and levulose 3.4%.
- Chemical composition analysis of sapota juice showed it to be a rich
source of sugars, proteins, vitamin C, phenolics, carotenoids and minerals
(iron, copper, zinc, calcium and potassium).
- Phytochemical screening yielded terpenoids, glycosides, and flavonoid type compounds.
- Leaves studied for lipoidal matters yielded fatty acids, of which unsaturated fatty acids represented 32.32% of total FA, oleic acid (13.95%), linoleidic acid (10.18%), and linoleic acid (5.96%) were the major ones. Isolated compounds were lupeol acetate, oleanolic acid, apigenin-7-O-α-L-rhamnoside, myricetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside and caffeic acid. (12)
- Seeds are aperient, diuretic, tonic, and antipyretic.
- Sapotin considered a febrifuge.
Bark, seeds, fruit.
• Fruit is soft and gritty with a sweet agreeable flavor.
• Decoction of the bark used
for diarrhea and fever.
• Fruit soaked in melted butter overnight, is thought to be preventive
for biliousness and fevers.
• Seed kernel oil used as skin ointment and as dressing for falling
• In Mexico, used
for kidney stones and rheumatism.
• In West Indies, seeds considered aperient and diuretic; the bark as tonic and febrifuge.
• In Cuba, seed
infusion used as an eyewash.
• In Konkan, fruit soaked in melted butter overnight, considered an excellent preventive for biliousness and febrile attacks.
• In Antilles, astringent fruit used for dysentery.
• Leaf decoction used for fever, hemorrhage, wounds and ulcers.
• For neuralgia, leaf with tallow or oil, applied as compress
to the temples.
• Seeds used for fever; when ground with water, acts as diuretic.
• In Indonesia,
flowers are one of the ingredients in a powder rubbed on the woman's
body after childbirth.
• In Cambodia, tannin
from the bark used for diarrhea and fever.
• Bark: Used for tanning sails and making fish tackle.
chicle: Derived from the bark juice, is used in the manufacture of chewing
gum. Gum chicle is also used for transmission belts, dental surgery,
and a substitute for gutta-percha.
• Lambanog flavoring: fruit is also a popularly used in the aging of the coconut
Latex is tapped only if the sapodilla is at least 20
to 25 years old. Each tapping yields only 21/2 pounds of gum over a
period of six hours; and trees are tapped only once in three or four
years. (The Story of Chewing
Seeds contain hydrocyanic acid and should be removed
before eating the fruit.
• Phytochemical: Triterpenoids,
achras sapota, saponins, cotyledons, terpenes, terpenoids, non-polar
extracts: Study isolated 14 triterpenoids and five triterpenoidal
• Triterpenoid saponin / Antibacterial:
Study isolated a new pentacyclic triterpenoids saponin along with one
known from the cotyledons of Achras sapota. Compound 2 showed antibacterial
activity against Gram positive and negative bacteria. (2)
• Antioxidant: Study
showed zapota juice to have multiple radical-scavenging potential due
to its nutraceutical components, viz., phenolics carotenoids and ascorbic
• Antimicrobial: Study
of extracts of stem bark and leaves
showed activity against all pathogenic bacteria in the study, including Aspergillus flavus, Vasianfactum sp and Fusarium sp.
• Antibacterial: Study
showed the acetone extract of M. zapota seeds to be bactericidal.
• Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective: Study of cold ethanolic extract of M. zapota leaves
demonstrated significant dose-dependent antioxidant activity. In a carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver damage model in rats, it exhibited hepatoprotective activity. (9)
• Anti-Tumor: Study of stem bark of M. zapota against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in Swiss albino mice showed significant antitumour activity with increase in survival time and restored hematological parameters. (10)
• Antidiabetic / Roots: Study evaluated an alcohol extract of A. zapota roots for antidiabetic activity.
Results showed increasing dosages of the alcohol extract caused increase in antidiabetic activity. 80g/kbw of fresh material was almost as strong as 100 mg/kbw of tolbutamide. (11)
• Triterpenoid Acyl Derivatives / Fruits / Antioxidant / Antihyperglycemic / Hypocholesterolemic: Fruits yielded a new natural compound, β-amyrin-3-(3'-dimethyl) butyrate, together with lupeol-3-acetate and 4-caffeoylquinic acid (cryptochlorogenic acid). The alcoholic and aqueous extracts of unripe fruits, in addition to their aqueous homogenate showed antioxidant antihyperglycemic, and hypocholesterolemic activities.
• Antipyretic / Anti-Inflammatory / Leaves: Study evaluated extracts of leaves for anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic activities in albino Wistar rats. Crude ethanolic and ethyl acetate extracts showed anti-inflammatory activity with significant inhibition of paw edema. Both petroleum and EA fractions exhibited significant anti-pyretic property.
• Analgesic / Leaves: Study of petroleum ether and ethanolic extracts of M. zapota, using a hot plate method, showed analgesic effect at doses of 200 mg/kg. (15)
• Triterpenes and Sterols / Fruits / Antifungal: Freeze-dried unripe fruit of Achras zapota yielded a mixture of ß-amyrin (1a) pentanoate and α-amyrin pentanoate (1b), a mixture of spinasterol and taraxerol, and a fatty acid ester of oleanolic acid.
Mixture of 1a and 2b showed moderate activity against Candida albicans Mixtures were inactive aginst bacteria. (16)
• Volatile Flavor Components of Fruit: Study evaluated the essence of fresh sapodilla fruit. Fruit yields a small quantity of aroma volatiles (about 5 µg/kg of fresh fruit), less than that obtained from other fruits, which partly explains the delicate flavor.
A group of benzyl-related compound comprise over 45% of the essence and includes a series of five alkyl benzoates. (17)
• Anti-Cancer / Apoptosis / Inhibtion of Tumor Progression: A methanolic extract of sapota fruit induces cytotoxicity in a dose dependent manner in cancer cell lines. Cell cycle analysis suggested activation of apoptosis, without arresting cell cycle progression. Treatment leads to significant inhibition of tumor growth and a 3-fold increase in life span of tumor bearing animals.