Postharvest Technology in Mango

mangoHarvest is the process of gathering mature crops from the field and Postharvest means ‘after harvest’. Postharvest technology is inter-disciplinary “Science and Technique” applied to agricultural produce after harvest for its protection, conservation, processing, packaging, distribution, marketing, and utilization to meet the food and nutritional requirements of the people in relation to their needs. Thus, post-harvest technology involves all treatments or processes that occur from time of harvesting until the foodstuff reaches the final consumer.

Mango is tropical fruit. It can grow in a wide range of climate and soil conditions. The ripe mango is delicious to eat. It is a rich source of vitamin A and C. harvesting time differs from place to place depending upon the local climatic conditions.

Harvest maturity and harvesting:

  • Generally, the fruits are supposed to be ready for harvesting when one or two ripe fruits drop naturally from the tree or when they begin to change colour.
  • For local markets, fruits should be harvested when they become soft on the tree.
  • For distant markets. They should be harvested when they are still green and firm, but have attained their full size and maturity.

Fruits are harvested by hand. A bamboo-pole harvester is also used to pick the fruits. A bamboo-pole harvester is made of a longHarvestMangos bamboo pole to the end of which is fixed a small net bag hanging loose from an iron ring about 30 cm in diameter with knife blades there on to cut the fruit stalk. The workers stands on the ground and with the picker collect the fruits in the bag attached to it. When 4-5 fruits are thus collected in bag, they are transferred into another bag.

Ripening:

  • Different methods are used for ripening the fruits. The fruits are spread on a thick layer of mango leaves for two days and then transferred to straw bed in a single layer for ripening.
  • Calcium carbide kept in a heap of mangoes quickens the ripening process.
  • 2ml of etheral mixed with 10 liter of mangoes spread on fruits also hastens the ripening process.

Grading and packing:

Good packing of fruits is needed for their safety during transport. Either bamboo baskets or wooden boxes are used for packing. A wooden box of 60 x 30 x 30 cm is found to be quit suited for packing 100 fruits of Bombay green and Dashari mangoes. Rice straw is generally used for padding around the fruits inside the package.

Storage:

Cold storage is necessary to avoid extremely low prices and extend the season of availability of mangoes. Fully matured hard and green fruits can be preserved at 70C to 90C for 6-7 weeks. A temperature below 70C injures the green fruits, which don’t ripen when removed to ordinary room temperature. Ripe mangoes cannot be preserved in good condition in cold storage because they turn brown and become spotted all over the skin.

(References: Gautam, D.M and  D.R. Bhattarai. 2012. Postharvest Horticulture.)

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About Shiv Kumar Das

I am Agriculture graduate at the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science(IAAS), Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal.

Posted on August 3, 2013, in Agri-Tech and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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