Natural, Organic & Sustainable Agriculture

Madagascar Baobab

Six of the nine baobab species on Earth are endemic to Madagascar, making the baobab tree symbolic of the unique environment on our large island. The tree which can be found in South, East and North Madagascar produce a large delicious and highly nutritious fruit that can be used in several ways.

The baobab fruit contains a dry chalky white pulp with hundreds of seeds. The fruit pulp contains twice as much calcium as milk and six times the Vitamin C of an orange and is rich in vitamins B1, and B2. The fruit pulp also has high levels of iron and potassium and is a powerful antioxidant, more so than pomegranate, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.

The water-soluble powder is produced from dry fruit pulp and can have several uses, for example, mixed in smoothies, shakes, juices and jams and as ingredients in baking, and chocolates as well as non-food uses such as beauty and skin care products.

The seeds with the fruit pulp are edible and have a combined sweet buttery and slightly citric taste. The fruit pulp itself has similarities in flavour to tamarind with a hint of marshmallow. The seeds can also be roasted to produce a type of caffeine-free baobab coffee.

Two types of oils are extracted from the seeds, one is a thick paste and one is liquid. The liquid oil is extracted from fresh seeds and is suitable for cooking among other uses, as a massage oil etc. The paste is extracted from the same seed which has aged for two years until its moisture has partially evaporated and the oil becomes more of a solid paste. The paste can be used for hair and as a skin moisturiser.

Baobab honey is also produced but is available only in small quantities since bees are not the primary pollinators of the baobab. The flower is pollinated mainly by sphinx moths, bats, some lemurs and certain species of birds.

The baobab fruits are ripe between November and January and are collected from the Menabe region in the West to be processed in the Capital before being exported in powder form, as oils or as seeds.

The large yet lightweight pods with their chestnut-coloured velvety surface keep their appearance for many years and can also be used for decoration purposes.