The Sapotaceae family consists of approximately 800 species of evergreen trees and shrubs found throughout the tropics. Many species produce edible fruits or a white sap used for cleaning, while others have other economic uses.
Edible fruit-bearing species include Manilkara (sapodilla), Chrysophyllum cainito (star-apple or golden leaf tree), and Pouteria (abiu, canistel, lúcuma, mamey sapote).
Vitellaria paradoxa (known as shi or karité) is the source of an oil-rich nut that yields edible shea butter, which is a major lipid source for many African ethnic groups and is also used in traditional and Western cosmetics and medications. The "miracle fruit" Synsepalum dulcificum is also a member of the Sapotaceae family.