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Information @ a Glance

General

  • The sapote belongs to the family Sapotaceae, the same family as the sapodilla which has also been called sapote, zapote, or zapote chico to distinguish it from the larger fruit.

  • Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota) is a long-lived, evergreen tree native to the New World tropics. Sapodilla was formerly often known by the invalid name Achras sapota.

  • The sapote occurs naturally at low elevations from southern Mexico to northern Nicaragua. It is much cultivated and possibly also naturalized up to 2,000 ft (600 m) and occasionally found up to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) throughout Central America and tropical South America.

Growth & Cultivation

  • The sapota can be grown in a variety of soils but deep alluvium, sandy loam, and well-drained medium black soils with pH 6.0-8.0 are ideal for its cultivation. However, shallow clay soils underlaid with hard pan or high calcium contents are unsuitable for sapota cultivation.

  • The fruits are highly perishable and can be stored under ordinary condition for a period of 7-8 days after harvesting. At a storage temperature of 200 C, the storage life can be increased for a period of 21-25 days by removing ethylene and adding 5-10% CO2 to storage atmosphere.

Uses

  • The fruit is a good source of digestible sugar (15-20%) and an appreciable source of protein, fat, fibre and minerals (Ca, P and Fe.) Sapota pulp is used for making sweets and halwas. It is also an ingredient of fruit salads and milk shakes. The milky latex secreted by unripe sapota fruits , known as chuckle forms the base for making chicklet and chewing gum.
  • The mamey sapote fruit can be used as a tasty addition to many desserts and drinks.

Market

  • India is considered to be the largest producer of sapota in the world. It is mainly cultivated in the coastal areas of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, west Bengal, Punjab and Haryana.

  • India is the second largest producer of Fruits after China, with a production of 44.04 million tonnes of fruits from an area of 3.72 million hectares . A large variety of fruits are grown in India, of which mango, banana, citrus, guava, grape, pineapple and apple are the major ones. 
  • The fruit is mostly consumed indigenously. Export constituted only a very minor fraction of production, 0.2% in 2001-02. Low volume export of sapota is due to non-ideal post harvest practices, transport procedures, lack of proper storage facilities, outdated handling practices.

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