The word "sapote" is believed to have been derived from the Aztec "tzapotl," a term applied to all soft sweet fruits. Sapote fruit is also known by the names sapota, mamey, zapotillo, and mamey sapote, among others. It belongs to the family Sapotaceae, with about 1250 species worldwide, mainly in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Mesoamerica.
The Sapote Tree is native and common in the wild in Guatemala and Honduras but can also be found in southern Mexico, Guatemala to northern Nicaragua, and tropical South America (where they grow only occasionally in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Brazil).
The fruits are rich in vitamins B1, B2, and C in addition to iron, calcium and phosphorus. They can be consumed fresh or used in the production of jams and preserves or for juicing.
The sapote or mamey tree, which frequently reaches 60 to 100 feet, bears white to pale-yellow flowers that emerge in clusters along the branches. The fruit may be round, ovoid, or elliptic and varies from 3 to 9 in. and weighs from 1/2 lb. to 5 lbs. The fruit has rough, dark-brown, firm, leathery, semi-woody skin or rind up to 1/16 in. (1.5 mm) thick. The soft flesh is salmon-pink to deep-red, with a sweet and pumpkin-like flavor, and encases 1 to 4 large, slick, spindle-shaped, pointed seeds that are hard and glossy-brown with a large kernel.
A mechanical presser is used to extract from the kernel an off-white to clear gold, semi-solid, vaseline-like oil that is edible when freshly extracted. The oil contains predominantly non-saturated fatty acids and has a deep fragrant pleasant cherry-almond like scent. It is rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, and minerals.
Mamey Sapote Oil, reassessed beyond artisanal applications, has been analyzed in greater detail as a source of triterpene alcohols, commonly considered to be effective in improving skin's tolerance to UV radiation.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Sapote Oil has been discovered by the cosmetic and pharmacology industries, which use it, respectively, to combat free radicals and as an anti-inflammatory.
Sapote Oil is used largely as a skin ointment or in manufacturing soaps for skin disorders. It is also employed as a sedative in eye and ear ailments. The seed residue remaining after oil extraction is applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation caused by painful skin afflictions.
It is also an effective natural topical remedy for controlling hair loss, as confirmed by tests at the University of California at Los Angeles. The results showed that the Sapote Oil is effective at stopping hair-fall caused by seborrhea dermatitis.
Our unrefined, virgin Sapote Oil, or Mamey Oil, is mechanically pressed from the kernels of sapote fruits wild-harvested in the rain forests of Honduras, Brazil and Guatemala.