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Irvingia gabonensis – Wikipedia

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**Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology**:
– Indigenous to humid forest zones in Angola, Congo, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Uganda.
– Thrives in tropical wet and dry climate zones, including canopied jungles, gallery forests, and semi-deciduous forests.
– Requires altitudes of 200–500m, rainfall of 1,200–1,500mm, and deep, fertile, well-drained soils.
– Insect-pollinated with flowers blooming from March to June and two fruiting seasons.
– Seeds dispersed by vertebrates, including elephants and gorillas, with a dependence on human planting due to reduced animal dispersers.

**Cultivation and Breeding**:
– Historically, 90% of products harvested from wild trees.
– Trees not initially cultivated due to long maturation period but flower production observed within 2-4 years with marcots.
– Low germination from seeds, mostly extracted by hand.
– Domestication in early stages with vegetative propagation methods like grafting, budding, air-layering, and cuttings feasible.
– Breeding techniques developed around 1990, including successful marcotting.

**Uses and Economic Importance**:
– Fruits eaten fresh by humans and animals, processed into various products like jelly, jam, juice, and wine.
– Seeds pressed for oil or margarine, wood used in construction and as firewood.
– Commercial cultivation for fruit production, exported to international markets, supporting local economies.
– Demand for Irvingia gabonensis products with potential for sustainable harvesting.

**Nutrition and Weight Control**:
– Seeds provide 697 calories per 100g with high fat content, while fruit pulp is rich in water, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
– Seeds contain myristic, lauric, oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids.
– African mango marketed for weight management, with inconclusive clinical trials on weight loss efficacy.
– Meta-analysis suggests potential benefits, common adverse effects include headache and flatulence.

**Taxonomy, Common Names, and Culinary/Medicinal Uses**:
– Scientific name: Irvingia gabonensis, common name: African mango.
– Family: Irvingiaceae, Genus: Irvingia, Species: gabonensis.
– Native to West and Central Africa, thriving in tropical rainforests at altitudes up to 500 meters.
– High in fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, iron, and healthy fats, low in sugar.
– Used in traditional African cuisine, with potential medicinal properties like anti-inflammatory effects and as a weight loss aid.

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