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For the Italian wine grape variety also known as Carapa, see Bombino bianco.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Meliaceae
Genus: Carapa

See text.

Range of Carapa guianensis

Carapa is a genus of flowering plants in the mahogany family, Meliaceae. These are trees up to 30 meters tall occurring in tropical South America, Central America,[1] and Africa. Common names include andiroba and crabwood.


The list of species within this genus is still under discussion. Generally recognized species are:

Other proposed species:


The timber is important, and oil is produced from the seeds. The name andiroba is from Nheengatu nhandi rob, meaning "bitter oil". Carapa guianensis produces oil similar to neem oil.

The oil contained in the almond andiroba is light yellow and extremely bitter. When subjected to a temperature below 25 °C, solidifies, leaving consistency like that of petroleum jelly. Contains substances like olein, palmitine and the glycerin. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, healing and insecticides.

Chemical composition of crabwood (andiroba) oil[edit]

Chemical and physical data of the Andiroba oil
Index Unity Valores de referencia
Refractive index (40 °C) - 1,47
Iodine index gl2 65 - 75
Saponification Value mg KOH\g 190 - 210
Density (15 °C) gr\ltr 0,9261
Melting point °C 22,0
unsaponifiable matter  % 3 - 5

'Fatty acids-composition of crabwood(Andiroba) oil[5]

Fatty acids Unity Composition
Palmitic acid  % Weight 25 - 32
Palmitoleic acid  % 0,8 - 1,5
Stearic acid  % Weight 6 - 13
Oleic acid  % Weight 45 - 58
Linoleic acid  % Weight 6 - 14
Saturated fat  % 40
Unsaturated fat  % 60


  1. ^ Hogan, C. M. 2008. Isthmian-Atlantic moist forests. Encyclopedia of Earth, World Wildlife Fund, National Council of Science and the Environment.
  2. ^ Forget, P. M., et al. (2009). A new species of Carapa (Meliaceae) from Central Guyana. Brittonia 61(4) 366-74.
  3. ^ a b Kenfack, D. and A. J. Peréz. (2011). Two new species of Carapa (Meliaceae) from western Ecuador. Systematic Botany 36(1) 124-28.
  4. ^ Kenfack, D. (2011). Carapa vasquezii (Meliaceae), a new species from western Amazonia. Brittonia 63(1) 7-10.
  5. ^ Vanessa Fernandes de Araújo, Andrea Camila Petry, Rosângela Martinez Echeverria, Eric Costa Fernandes e Floriano Pastore Jr. Plantas da Amazônia para Produção Cosmética, 2007.

External links[edit]