Distribution of Sapotaceae:
Sapotaceae includes 40 genera and 60 species of primarily tropical trees common in old world.
Economic Importance of Sapotaceae:
- Food: Several species of Achras sapota (H. Chiku), Manilkara kauki (H. Khirini), Manilkara hexandra, Mimusops elengi (V. Maulsari), Bassia longifolia yield juicy edible fruits.
- Oil: The seeds of Madhuca butyracca produce the vegetable butter called “phulwa” used as cold cream, lip salve leminant and as substitute for ghee and for soap-making. The latex of Manilkara, Achras yeilds ‘chickle’ used for making chewing gum. Aromatic oil is obtained from the flowers of Mimusops elengi and is used in manufacture of perfumes.
- Gutta percha: It is obtained from latex of Mimusops, Palaquium gutta and Payena species.
- Medicinal: The bark of Bassia longifolia and Mimusops elengi is used in decoction as astringent and emollient and also as a cure for itches.
- Timber: The wood of Sideroxylon, Chrysophyllum and Bassia afford hard and useful timber.