Pakistani mango fruit worth is more than any other country due to its special characteristics like size, color, taste, fiber, and juice content. But, on the other hand, it can be said very sadly that poor management practices of mango fruit after harvest are being practices like physical damage during harvesting, unavailability of the packing shed, poor transport, attack of fungal diseases, bruises, strains, or latex on mango fruit. This all-poor management or post-harvest practices makes less worthy for domestic as well as for export purpose. In this article, I will discuss the postharvest management of mango fruit. There are the following outlines,
- When mango fruit is harvested
- Postharvest treatments
- Precooling of mango fruit
- Ripening of mango fruit
- Packing of mango fruit
- Shelf life after consumer end
When to harvest the mango fruit
Mango fruit is climacteric fruit and harvested before its ripening stage. So, you will be asking that how do I know that now my mango tree is ready to harvest the mango fruit. There are many varieties in Pakistan, some are early varieties like Sindhri, some are mid-season varieties like Anwar Ratol and some are late-season varieties like Chaunsa, etc.
There are few maturity indices that can help a lot that like look for fruit size and color. Most of the varieties remain green even at the time of complete maturity and turn yellow with soft flesh after-ripening process. There is another indication that can be observed that some of the poor mangoes seem to be fell off on the ground called “tapka aam” and this is time to harvest your mango fruit.
Note: mango fruit is harvested with the help of a shearing knife with 1-1.5 inch of its stalk which is cut out later to avoid injury during transportation.
Harvested mango fruit should be store in the packing shed
Mango fruit should be transferred into the packing shed after harvest it is very important to understand the importance of postharvest handling of mango fruit. Packing shed should be facilitated with different important practices like de-sapping, washing, hot water treatment, etc.
After harvesting, mango fruit is prepared for desaping, which means dipping the fruit in lime solution (5g flake lime: 1-liter water) so that different spots like stains and latex. Then, it is rinsed with water to remove the layer of lime solution.
Then mango fruit is sorted where fruits are separated according to their appearance. Good-looking and healthy mango fruit is allowed for hot water treatment where mangoes are put in hot water with 50–52-degree Celsius temperature for 10-15 minutes.
Mango fruit in the pre-cooling chamber
After all postharvest treatments, mango fruit is shifted to another cooling chamber where the temperature is maintained at 12-15 degrees Celsius with 85% humidity. So, that ripening process could be control and the shelf life of mango fruit is enhanced.
Ripening of mango fruit
After blast chilling sequence, where mango fruit is pre-cooled with a specific temperature. Then, ripening is done by putting it into an ethylene chamber.
Note: locally farmers and growers use the different approach by adding the destructive chemical calcium carbide to ripen the fruit which is cheaper but health destructive in Pakistan.
Packing of mango fruit
Mango fruit should be packed with good packaging material like cardboard boxes and boxes should be perforated so that natural way of mangoes oxygen could be possible.
Transportation of mango fruit
Mango fruit should be transferred on reefer trucks where the cold storage facility is available.
The shelf life of mango fruit
It may vary according to the variety. We all know that mango fruit is summer seasoned and after ripening when it is available to the consumer then its shelf life varies in between two weeks under refrigerator temperature but on the room temperature it may survive less than five days due to higher room temperature.
I hope you will be familiar with the postharvest handling of mangoes. Keep commenting regarding the topic and stay tuned!