Discover this African Fruit: SAFOU


Scientific name: dacryodes edulis
Generally called: Safou, Atanga (in Gabon), Ube (Nigeria), African or Bush pear or Plum, Nsafu, Bush butter tree or Butterfruit. In French, we call this fruit « prune » in Cameroon.
Tree: Safoutier, African tropical and equatorial tree which produces a fruit, the safou.
Varieties: 22 varieties of safoutiers with different colors: from light pink to navy blue and purple.
Appearance: Safou is a narrow, four-sided fruit. The outer skin is dark blue or violet in colour where the skin is shiny, thin and gentle. The flesh of the fruit will be in pale to light green color which has a strong odour of turpentine oil. It has a stony seed at the center.




  • 263 kcal per 100 grams
  • 59% of moisture
  • 4-10% protein, 11-15 grams of protein for every 100 grams of fruit
  • 5-10% carbohydrate
  • Good fat: 22% as the avocado
  • Rich in phytosterols, which can reduce cholesterol
  • 27% fibre


  • Provitamin A (72 mg/100 g)
  • Vitamin A (700 mg/per 100 grams, important for staving off free radicals and for preventing cancer)
  • Vitamin C (11-25 mg /100 g) (ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin E (1,3 mg/100 g)


  • 1,4% of Minerals
  • Calcium (65 mg/100 g) for strong healthy bones and for acid base regulation
  • Potassium (443 mg/100 g) for cardiovascular health and for water regulation
  • Phosphorous (68 mg/100g)
  • Magnesium for good nerve and brain health
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Zinc

The fruit contains about 1,5% of essential oil.

  • Against stomachache instantaneously
  • Against menstrual pain, indigestion, constipation and other digestive issues
  • Facilitate bowel movement and reorganise the stomach system
  • The sense of well-being is immediate after 30 minutes

Oil content of the fruit flesh is very high in:

  • Oleic acid (45-60%)
  • Palmitic acid (30-35%)
  • Linoleic acid (15-20%)
  • Stearic acid (2%)

It represents together about  94% of the pulp oil.


  • Effective in the skin rejuvenation
  • Good for hair and skin
  • Excellent wound-healing in the case of depigmentation and serious skin diseases
  • Excellent against burns
  • Effectively fight against dandruff


Fresh fruits have the following characteristics. If not, the fruits are not fresh:

  • Peduncle should be attached. If detached, the point of attachment of peduncle should be brightly yellow in colour
  • No change in skin colour from its original colour (greenish, bluish, indigo, whitish or brownish) to plum
  • No soft spots on any part of the fruit
  • Absence of wrinkles on fruits as a result of a high moisture loss


  • The dried pulp is consumed as an appetiser as well as the plantain chips, the roasted or caramelised peanuts, or pieces of caramelised coconut
  • To consume cooked (steam or on hot coals)
  • The consumed portion is the pulp, either as a dish with corn, cassava or bread or as a dessert, as an appetiser or as a side dish with fish or meat
  • You can as well spread some safou butter on bread
  • Or you can use it to thicken sauces as well as peanut butter


In general, we dump them in a saucepan after cooking some steamed food (cassava, macabo, rice). After the cooking, we turn off the heat, we put the safou in the saucepan, we cover it and we wait 10 min.

In a pan:
Make cuts to the safou, put them in a pan without oil. In the beginning, start to cook over low heat to let them time to produce their own oil, then you can turn up a little bit the heat but not too hard.


In the oven:
Make cuts and put them in the over and let cook 10 to 15 min to 200°C. Enjoy them with cassava or cassava sticks.


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