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Sugar apple on tree.jpg
Michał Boym's drawing of, probably, the sugar-apple in his Flora Sinensis (1655)

The sugar-apple, or sweetsop, is the fruit of Annona squamosa, the most widely grown species of Annona and a native of the tropical Americas and West Indies. The Spanish traders of Manila galleons brought it to Asia, where its old Mexican name ate may still be found in Malayalam and Odia Aata, Bengali aataa, Nepalese aati, Sinhalese mati anoda, Burmese awzar thee, Indonesia “ Srikaya”’ and atis in the Philippines. It is also known as Shareefa in India and Pakistan and in the Philippines and in Australia.[1] The name is also used in Portuguese as ata.

The fruit is spherical-conical, 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 6–10 cm (2.4–3.9 in) long, and weighing 100–240 g (3.5–8.5 oz), with a thick rind composed of knobby segments. The color is typically pale green through blue-green, with a deep pink blush in certain varieties, and typically has a bloom. It is unique among Annona fruits in being segmented, and the segments tend to separate when ripe, exposing the interior.

The flesh is fragrant and sweet, creamy white through light yellow, and resembles and tastes like custard. It is found adhering to 13-to-16-millimetre-long (0.51 to 0.63 in) seeds forming individual segments arranged in a single layer around a conical core. It is soft, slightly grainy, and slippery. The hard, shiny seeds may number 20–40 or more per fruit and have a brown to black coat, although varieties exist that are almost seedless.[1][2]

There are also new varieties being developed in Taiwan. The atemoya or "pineapple sugar-apple," a hybrid between the sugar-apple and the cherimoya, is popular in Taiwan, although it was first developed in the US in 1908. The fruit is similar in sweetness to the sugar-apple but has a very different taste. As its name suggests, it tastes like pineapple.


Sugar-apple with cross section

As a result of its widespread cultivation, many local names have developed for the fruit.

sugur apple fruit in srilanka
  • In English, it is most widely known as a sugar apple or sweetsop as well as a custard apple, especially in India and Australia (custard apple also refers to Annona reticulata, a closely related species).
  • In Hispanic America, regional names include anón, anón de azucar, anona blanca, fruta do conde, cachiman, saramuyo, riñon, grenadilla (little grenade) and many others.
  • In Arabic, it is called قشطة (qishta / ishta / ashta), the translation being "cream".
  • In Aceh, it is called "seureuba".
  • In Angola, it is called fruta-do-conde or fruta-pinha.
  • In Bambara, it is called zumzum or sunsun.
  • In Bangladesh, it is called "Ata phol" (আতাফল).
  • In The Bahamas, it is called "sugar apple".
  • In Brazil, it is called fruta-do-conde, fruta-de-conde, condessa, fruta-pinha, pinha (lit. cone), ata or anona.
  • Its name in Burmese is ဩဇာသီး or aawză tē.
  • In Cambodia, regional names include ផ្លែទៀប (plae teib that is custard apple).
  • In Colombia, it is called "anón".
  • In Curacao, it is called "skopapel".
  • In Djibouti, it is called aat or aag in Somali.
  • In Ethiopia, it is called Gishta (ጊሽጣ) in Amharic.
  • In Germany, it is called Zimtapfel, because of its taste.[3]
  • In Ghana, it is called "Sweet Apple".
  • In Kenya, it is called "tomoko" in Swahili or "itomoka" in Gikuyu
  • In Greece, it is called γλυκόμηλο (sweet apple).
  • In Haiti, it is called kachiman.
  • In Hebrew, it is called anonah (אנונה)
  • In China, it is commonly called foreign lychee (番荔枝) as well as other names 佛头果、释迦、释迦果(phonetic transcription of the word sugar)、亚大菓子(referred for fruit)、亚大树(referred for trees)、林檎(Chaoshan)、唛螺陀(Guangxi)、洋波罗(Longzhou)、假波罗(Pinxiang Similar to Jackfruits)、番鬼(红毛)荔枝(Guangdong Cantonese Areas including Hong Kong, Macao )、麻窝楂(Dehong
  • In Iceland, it is called sólberkja.
  • In India it is known as: Sitaphal in most languages, literally meaning Sita's fruit and also known as "Sarifa" in some places. Various names in different Indian languages are listed below:
    • In Assamese: atlos (আতলচ)
    • In Bengali: ata (আতা)
    • In Gujarati: sitaphal (સીતાફળ)
    • In Hindi: Sitaphal (सीताफल)
    • In Bhojpuri: sharifa (शरीफ़ा)
    • In Kannada: "jirangi hannu" ( ಜಿರಂಗಿ ಹಣ್ಣು) sitaphala (ಸೀತಾಫಲ)
    • In Malayalam: aathakka (ആത്തക്ക) / seethappazham (സീതപ്പഴം)
    • In Marathi: sitaphal (सीताफळ)
    • In Odia: aata (ଆତ)
    • In Punjabi: sharifa (ਸ਼ਰੀਫਾ)
    • In Tamil: sitappazham (சீதாப்பழம்)
    • In Telugu: sita phalamu (సీతా ఫలము).
  • In Indonesia, srimatikiya or, as mostly people call it, srikaya.
  • In Jamaica, it is called "sweetsop" or "sweet-sop".
  • in Japan, it is called shakatou (釈迦頭, head of Shakyamuni). This is from Chinese. Actually 釋迦 is the phonetic transcription in Chinese of the word sugar.
  • In Kenya, it is called matomoko.
  • In Madagascar, it is called konikony in Malagasy, or pocanelle in French.
  • In Malawi, it is called "mpoza" in chewa.
  • In Malaysia, it is called buah nona.
  • In Mauritius, it is called "zatte" in the Creole language.
  • In Martinique it is called pomme cannelle.
  • In Mozambique it is called ata.
  • In Nepal, it is called "aati" as well as "saripha" (ऑट), (ऑटी), (सरीफा).
  • In Nicaragua, it is called "annona guatemala".
  • In Northern Nigeria, it is called fasadabur in Hausa
  • In Pakistan, it is called Sharifa (شريفا)
  • In the Philippines, it is called atis.
  • In Singapore, it is called Lim kim.
  • In Somalia it is called "Cambe shoog" or "Cambe caad".
  • In Sri Lanka, it is called "Anoda" or "Katu Atha" in Sinhalese, "Annamunnaa" (அன்னமுன்னா) in Tamil.
  • In Taiwan, it is called sakya (Chinese: 釋迦; pinyin: shìjiā; Taiwanese: sek-khia, sek-kia) because one cultivar resembles the top part of Shakyamuni's (釋迦牟尼) head. Actually 釋迦 is the phonetic transcription of the word sugar.
  • In Tanzania, it is called matopetope.
  • In Thailand, it is called noi-na (น้อยหน่า).
  • In Uganda, it is called ekistaferi.
  • In Vanuatu, it is called korosol or pomkanel.
  • In Vietnam, it is called mãng cầu ta or na.
  • In Yemen, it is called Khirmish (خرمش).
  • In Oman, it is called Sa'fal (سعفل).
  • In Peru, it is called Chirimoya. -- Are we sure about this? Isn't chirimoya/cherimoya the custard apple, Annona cherimola? This is Annona squamosa.
  • In Venezuela, it is called Chirimoya (west), Riñón (east).
  • In Zimbabwe, it is called Roro
  • In Hausa it is called Fasadabur.

Nutrition and uses[edit]

Sugar-apples, (sweetsop), raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy393 kJ (94 kcal)
23.64 g
Dietary fiber4.4 g
0.29 g
2.06 g
VitaminsQuantity %DV
Thiamine (B1)
0.11 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.113 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.883 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.226 mg
Vitamin B6
0.2 mg
Folate (B9)
14 μg
Vitamin C
36.3 mg
MineralsQuantity %DV
24 mg
0.6 mg
21 mg
0.42 mg
32 mg
247 mg
9 mg
0.1 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Sugar-apple is high in energy, an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, a good source of thiamine and vitamin B6, and provides vitamin B2, B3 B5, B9, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium in fair quantities.[4]

A Philippine company produces sugar apple wine.[citation needed]

For uses of other fruit from the Custard-apple family see:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Morton, Julia (1987). "Annona squamosa". Fruits of warm climates. p. 69. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Annona squamosa". AgroForestryTree Database. Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  3. ^ Bernd Nowak, Bettina Schulz: Taschenlexikon tropischer Nutzpflanzen und ihrer Früchte. Quelle&Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2009, ISBN 978-3-494-01455-5, p. 57–59.
  4. ^ "Benefits of Custard apple". 22 December 2014.

External links[edit]