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Sugar Apple

The sugar apple has a creamy or white flesh that has the texture and flavor profile as a sweet custard. It is not surprising that the sugar apple has also been called the custard apple. The fruit has a knobby exterior that almost looks like fat fish scales. The taste of ripe sugar apples can sometimes be cloyingly sweet (hence the name, sugar apple).

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Magnoliales
  • Family: Annonaceae
  • Genus: Annona
  • Species: A. squamosa
  • Binomial name: Annona squamosa

Sugar Apple Trivia

  • The dried up and ground-up seeds of the sugar apple are used as a natural pesticide in some areas of the world.
  • Each fruit contains anywhere from 20-40 seeds.
  • In some Asian countries, the seeds are made into a paste as a treatment for lice, both in humans and in dogs.
  • In the Philippines, the leaves of the sugar apple trees are burnt to get rid of mosquitos.

Sugar Apple Buying Guide

The sugar apple comes in two main color varieties, red and green.

  • For green sugar apples, pick the ones with a yellowish color between the knobs.
  • For the red sugar apples, pick the ones with a bright pink color between the knobs.

Sugar apples that don’t have the color characteristics above are picked too early and have a big chance of not properly ripening.

If you’re buying a sugar apple to consume immediately, look for fruits that are already soft, and it feels like you can tear it apart easily. Don’t press on it too hard as you might accidentally press one that is overripe and squash the surface.

Sugar Apple Production & Farming in Texas

Sugar apple grows at USDA hardiness zones 10a-11, which pretty much limits the area in which the sugar apple is grown in Texas. Some growers have successfully planted this plant in their home orchards/gardens but run the risk of losing the entire tree when a particularly bad freeze sets in. Some specialty growers have been successful in growing fruit in containerized plants inside a greenhouse setting.


While there have been no formal studies conducted on pesticide residue on sugar apples or custard apples, reports from commercial growers have indicated that certain pesticides are used to protect their crops from pests and other diseases. While the extent of contamination is unknown, it is sure to be present as sugar apples are very sweet and attract a wide variety of insects.


Sugar apple plants can be containerized for easier growing in Texas. You’re going to need a heavy container that is wider than deep to accommodate the shallow roots of the sugar apple. The container should be about half the size of a wine barrel with multiple drainage holes.

They do well with full sun exposure and with protection from the wind. During cold winter months, it’s best to move them indoors or inside a heated greenhouse as they are very intolerant of cold.


Since the sugar apple is very fragile when ripe, extra steps are used to pack them to protect them during transport. The fruits are individually wrapped in a foam webbing. Aside from the special webbing, they are also packed in thick Styrofoam boxes to protect them during transport. A lot of non-biodegradable packaging material is used for the sugar apple in commercial farming applications.

Enjoying Sugar Apples

To consume sugar apples, you just need to slice the fruit in half to consume the flesh inside. Be sure to remove any visible seeds before scooping out and eating the flesh. Also, be careful not to bite down on any of the seeds if you accidentally put some in your mouth.

WARNING: The seeds of the sugar apple are mildly poisonous. Be careful not to bite down on them or swallow them accidentally.


If you have purchased ripe sugar apples, immediately store them in the fridge for up to two or three days at most.

For unripe sugar apples, store them in room temperature away from direct sunlight until they are soft/ripe, then consume immediately or move to the refrigerator.

To freeze sugar apples, remove the flesh from the skin and remove the seeds as well before placing in a freezer-safe container. They should be good frozen for up to a month.


Custard apples are best enjoyed in milky applications like smoothies, ice cream, and yogurt preparations.

For heated applications, sugar apples have been known to make an excellent addition to pies, but are limited in use in savory preparations.


  • Carbs
    • The glycemic load of sugar apples is estimated to be at 8, which is considered to be low and is generally regarded as safe for people with diabetes to consume.
    • The carbohydrate content is moderate, so those who are observing a low-carb diet should only consume moderate amounts of sugar apples.
  • Fiber
    • The sugar apple is a good source of dietary fiber, providing almost 20% of the RDI in a single serving.
      • Fiber is essential in relieving the symptoms of constipation as well as aids in maintaining overall gut health.
    • Vitamins and minerals:
      • Sugar apple has been a favorite fruit for women in many nations.
        • For pregnant women, sugar apple contains high levels of folate, which have been proven to be essential during pregnancy.
        • For menstruating women, sugar apple can replenish most of the minerals that are lost during menstruation.
      • Sugar apples also contain Vitamin A, which protects your eyes, specifically the retina cells and cornea cells, from the effects of free radicals.
      • Sugar apples also contain good levels of copper, which helps stimulate the thyroid and protects the body from excessive thyroxine levels.
      • Sugar apples also have been proven to slow down the absorption of sugar in the body, which lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 146 7%
  • Carbs: 36.6g 12%
  • Sugar: 0g 0%
  • Fiber: 6.8g 27%
  • Protein: 3.2g 6%
  • Fat: 0.4g 1%
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 13.9mg 1%
  • Vitamin C 56.3mg 94%
  • Vitamin A 9.3IU 0%
  • Calcium 37.2mg 4%
  • Iron 0.9mg 5%
  • Potassium 383mg 11%
  • Vitamin B6 0.3mg 15%
  • Folate 21.7mcg 5%
  • Magnesium 32.6mg 8%
  • Phosphorus 49.6mg 5%
  • Copper 0.1mg 7%
  • Zinc 0.2mg 1%

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