Mamey Sapote Nutrition: A Tropical Fruit Full of Nutrients

Mamey sapote is a tropical fruit with a distinctive appearance, offering a wide range of nutrients.

In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional profile of mamey sapote and its potential benefits.

Whole and half pieces of mamey sapote fruit.

What Is Mamey Sapote?

Mamey sapote is a large tropical fruit native to Central America that grows in tropical regions around the world.

This fruit has likely been part of the human diet for centuries, with the term ‘sapote’ originating from the Aztecs (1).

Mamey sapote is a stone fruit (drupe) containing a large seed in the center, similar in size to those found in avocados and peaches.

With its dull, brownish skin, the fruit’s outer appearance somewhat resembles a cross between an avocado and a potato.

According to USDA data, a typical mamey sapote fruit weighs around 558 grams (2).

However, once you cut into a mamey sapote, you’ll see its vibrant, reddish-orange inner flesh, reminiscent of papaya.

Scientifically, mamey sapote is known as ‘Pouteria sapota.’

How Does It Taste?

The flesh of mamey sapote has a smooth, soft texture and a sweet taste.

While its flavor is unique, it has notes reminiscent of pumpkin and sweet potato.

In terms of texture, mamey sapote is somewhat like avocado flesh, but without the creamy taste that comes from avocado’s high fat content.

The flesh of mamey sapote is also juicier, despite having a lower water content compared to avocado.

Overall, describing the flavor of such a unique fruit is challenging; mamey sapote has its own distinctive taste.

Key Point: Mamey sapote is a sweet-tasting tropical fruit with a soft and smooth texture.

What Nutrients Does Mamey Sapote Provide?

In this section, we’ll explore the nutritional properties of mamey sapote, including a comprehensive look at its vitamin and mineral profile.

Nutritional Profile

The following tables shows the basic nutritional composition and vitamin and mineral content per 175-gram cup of mamey sapote (2).

Nutritional data is sourced from the USDA FoodData Central database, and the percent daily values (% DV) are calculated based on the FDA’s recommended daily values (3).

NutrientAmount% Daily Value
Calories217 kcal
Carbohydrates56.2 g20.4%
Fiber9.45 g33.8%
Sugars35.2 g
Fat0.81 g1.0%
Saturated0.30 g1.5%
Monounsaturated0.18 g
Polyunsaturated0.17 g
Omega-30.14 g
Omega-60.02 g
Protein2.54 g5.1%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Table 1: Basic nutritional profile of mamey sapote fruit per 175-gram cup serving

As shown in the table, mamey sapote is primarily a source of carbohydrates and fiber, containing very small amounts of fat and protein.

A 175-gram cup serving of mamey sapote provides 217 calories, which is equivalent to 124 calories per 100 grams.

Vitamins

VitaminAmount% Daily Value
Folate12.2 mcg3.1%
Vitamin A, RAE12.2 mcg1.4%
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)0.02 mg1.7%
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)0.20 mg15.4%
Vitamin B3 (niacin)2.5 mg15.6%
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)0.70 mg14.0%
Vitamin B61.26 mg74.1%
Vitamin B120 mcg0%
Vitamin C40.2 mg44.7%
Vitamin D
Vitamin E3.69 mg24.6%
Vitamin K
Table 2: Vitamin composition of mamey sapote fruit per 175-gram cup serving

As indicated in the table, mamey sapote is an excellent source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

The fruit also provides good amounts of vitamins B2, B3, B5, and vitamin E.

Minerals

MineralAmount% Daily Value
Calcium31.5 mg2.4%
Copper0.37 mg41.1%
Iron1.36 mg7.6%
Magnesium19.2 mg4.6%
Manganese0.36 mg27.7%
Phosphorus45.5 mg3.6%
Potassium794 mg16.9%
Selenium
Sodium12.2 mg0.5%
Zinc0.33 mg3.0%
Table 3: Mineral composition of mamey sapote fruit per 175-gram cup serving

Regarding its mineral profile, mamey sapote offers a significant amount of copper, manganese, and potassium.

Key Point: Mamey sapote is a carbohydrate-rich fruit that provides high levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, manganese, and potassium.

Mamey Sapote Contains Unique Carotenoids

Mamey sapote contains high levels of carotenoids, the red pigments responsible for the fruit’s flesh color.

Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, can be precursors for vitamin A and are termed pro-vitamin A carotenoids (4). Mamey sapote contains several such carotenoids, including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene (5).

However, carotenoids offer functions beyond contributing to vitamin A intake, with numerous non-provitamin A carotenoids also present.

Examples of non-provitamin A carotenoids found in mamey sapote include lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin, each potentially beneficial for health (6).

Large systematic reviews have linked these compounds to potential benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, as well as their impact on eye health and blood pressure (7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

Mamey sapote contains each of the three aforementioned compounds: lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin.

Additionally, it is also a source of several unique carotenoids.

Novel Carotenoids in Mamey Sapote

Detailed chemical analyses of mamey sapote have revealed the presence of 47 different carotenoids, with 13 of them previously unexplored and characterized in prior studies (12, 13).

In recent years, “new carotenoids” have been isolated from mamey sapote fruit, including several sapotexanthins (14, 15).

However, there is a lack of research on these carotenoids and their potential effects on human health.

Key Point: Mamey sapote contains high concentrations of carotenoids, including several novel types that have had limited prior study.

Mamey Sapote is a Rich Source of Phytonutrients

Mamey sapote is also a rich source of several phytonutrients. These include catechin, epicatechin, and gallic acid, all of which are types of polyphenols (16).

Polyphenols are believed to offer health benefits, and dietary patterns rich in these compounds are associated with favorable long-term health outcomes, notably a reduced risk of chronic disease (17).

Research into the mechanisms of action for polyphenols is ongoing (18).

Key Point: Mamey sapote is a good source of polyphenols, compounds that may confer long-term health benefits.

How To Prepare and Eat Mamey Sapote

For those unfamiliar with mamey sapote, preparing and eating the fruit is straightforward.

Firstly, it is important to ensure the fruit is ripe, as it can be tough and bitter otherwise. Ripe fruit should be slightly soft to the touch and yield slightly when pressed.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Cut in half: Carefully slice the fruit in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.
  2. Discard the central seed: Remove the large black seed (stone) from the center of the fruit and discard it, as it’s inedible.
  3. Eat: You can eat mamey sapote in several ways. Since the flesh is so soft when ripe, one option is to eat the mamey sapote directly from the fruit with a spoon. It can also be cut into smaller pieces or slices.

Ways To Use Mamey Sapote

Aside from eating the fruit fresh, there are various other ways we can consume it.

Here are some ideas:

  • Smoothies: Blend mamey sapote with milk or yogurt and other preferred fruits to make a thick smoothie.
  • Fruit salad: Chop the mamey sapote flesh into cube-shaped pieces and add them to a fruit salad.
  • Baked goods: Mash the soft flesh for use in various baked goods.
  • Porridge: Mash the fruit and mix it into porridge; combine with milk and nuts for a nutritious breakfast.

Where To Buy Mamey Sapote

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find mamey sapote outside of the regions in which it grows.

This is because the fruit is highly perishable with a typical shelf life of only 8-10 days (19, 20).

For this reason, outside of Central America, warmer areas (like Florida and California) of the United States, and other warm regions with mamey sapote cultivation, the fruit will be an uncommon sight on store shelves.

However, a wide variety of specialist vendors sell either fresh or frozen mamey sapote. A quick online search should provide information on local sellers of the fruit.

References

  1. https://davidtng.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/the-fruit-that-changed-mexico/
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167760/nutrients
  3. https://www.fda.gov/food/nutrition-facts-label/daily-value-nutrition-and-supplement-facts-labels
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23053549/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042438/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5971251/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7666898/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36501182/
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2210803321001019
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34439503/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34157098/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33645478/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27598884/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32126590/
  15. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157517300959
  16. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996911002808
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31208133/
  18. https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/pharmacology/articles/10.3389/fphar.2022.806470/full
  19. https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9781845697358/postharvest-biology-and-technology-of-tropical-and-subtropical-fruits
  20. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0956713512002265
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Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.