Mango Fruit - Your Online Source for Information on Mangos
There are many steps involved in harvesting mango fruit and preparing it for market. One of the first things you need to know is how to tell when your mangos are ready to harvest. There are indicators to look for both on the outside and inside of the fruit to determine if it is ready.
The appearance of the mango fruit skin is the first sign of when it will be ready for harvest. Most mangos are harvested when they are mature but green as the time they will be in transit must also be accounted for when deciding if the mango is ready or not. Mango fruit that is already yellowing on the tree is too ripe to be transported farther than a local market.
Another step in deciding if mango fruit is ready for harvest is to look at the mango stem. When the mango is mature, its shoulders will rise above the stem end, making a small indentation or pit around the stem. As mangos mature, the skin also takes on a duller quality. In addition, the color of the internal pulp is another determining factor. Random mangos must be cut open and examined. The pulp of a mature mango will darken from a light yellow to a dark yellow or orange, depending on the variety.
One final way to determine the ripeness of a mango is to put several droplets of juice on a hand-held refractometer. This gauges the soluble solids or sugar content of the mango. A mature mango will register with a sugar content of at least ten percent.
Once you have determined that your mangos are ready to harvest, you need to pick them several times each week. Always harvest in the coolest part of the day. If temperatures are over 90 degrees, the mangos will be easily bruised and bruised mangos will not sell for good prices at market. Mangos also should not be harvested in the rain as the chances of decay are too great.
Mangos are manually harvested and should be cut leaving at least 2 cm of stem attached. Tools used at harvest include knives, clippers or a pole that has a cutting blade at the top and a canvas bag underneath to catch the fruit. The fruit must be carefully brought down to the ground and placed in a one-layer tray with the stem facing upwards. As each tray is filled, it should be placed in a shady area to limit sun exposure. After a short time the stems should be cut again, this time leaving only a few millimeters beyond the shoulder of the fruit. The stem should be positioned facing downward to prevent latex burn. It will take approximately an hour for the latex flow to stop.
The mango fruit should then be sorted according to quality and placed in a plastic crate lined with straw or a soft packing material. Never load more than forty pounds of mangos in one container.
Mango fruit should be washed before sending it to be sold or transferred to another location. Certain kinds of blemishes can also be treated to make the mango sellable.