Quality attributes of mango
Attention points mango quality
A mango with a red skin. Photo by WFBR
Each mango variety has his own visual characteristics such as fruit size, shape, blush colour and flesh colour. Of course, these can differ between individual fruits. In all cases, the consumer will demand fresh-looking and appealing mangos.
The mangoes are more attractive without defects such as insect damage, punctures, bruises, sapburn injury and especially decay.
Internal flesh colour of a mango is a good indicator of ripeness. Photo by WFBR.
Flesh colourThe flesh colour is a good indicator of fruit ripeness. The flesh colour develops near the seed and progresses outward. A decreasing proportion of white/green/pale-yellow, which turns yellow/orange, corresponds to a higher ripeness stage. Flesh colour can also indicate quality issues. For example, browning is undesirable and can indicate overripeness or be the consequence of unfavourable storage conditions such as stored too cold.
Close-up of mango flesh. Photo by Piyaset/Shutterstock.com
Flesh textureFirmness, crunchiness, melting and juiciness all contribute to the consumer's final judgement. One of the most obvious texture changes during ripening is loss of firmness. A firmness test of the flesh can be done with a fruit penetrometer after a piece of skin has been peeled. The texture of mangos varies between cultivars. Some varieties are already quite soft before they are optimal to eat, but other varieties remain more firm. There are also variety differences in fibrous texture.
Different skin colours of mangos of one variety. Photo by WFBR
Skin colourMangos can have different skin colours. It will be affected by variety, ripeness stage and growing conditions such as intensity of sunlight. Therefore, the fruits can differ in red color (blush color) and (green) ground colour at harvest. Some varieties retaina green ground colour when ripe, but often fruit ripening is accompanied by a change from green to yellow. A gray or dull colour can be a symptom of chilling injury.
Tasty mango! Photo by Suvorova Alexandra/Shutterstock.com
FlavourFlavour is, of course, an important characteristic of fruit quality. Important characteristics for the mango flavour are degree of firmness, aroma, sweetness, sourness, and the ratio between the latter two (sugar/acid level). The sugar content can be well estimated by measuring the soluble solids content (SSC, °Brix). As an indication, °Brix levels can range from 9 to 17, depending on the variety, origin and especially ripeness.
A box with bad quality mangos. Photo by WFBR
Disorders and diseasesA good quality mango is free of defects and diseases. Bruises or skin injuries reduce appearance, but also increase water loss (weight loss) and respiration, which can speed up firmness loss and senescence. Defects also provide access routes for pathogens that lead to decay. Disorders are not always visible from the outside. Cutting the fruit may reveal internal discoloration or flesh breakdown.
How to measure quality traits of a mango?
|Type of quality trait
|A quality controller checks the blush colour with a colour chart
|A quality controller checks the flesh colour with a colour chart
|A quality controller checks the ground colour with a colour chart
|External diseases & disorders
|A quality controller checks the outside of the mango visually on diseases & disorders
|Internal diseases & disorders
|A quality controller checks the inside of the mango visually on diseases & disorders
|The total soluble solids (TSS) is measured with an analog or digital refractometer
|Shape & Size
|A quality controller estimates the maturity of the mango by looking at its shape
|Shape & Size
|A quality controller estimates the size of the mango visually
|Shape & Size
|A quality controller weighs the mango on a scale
|The firmness of the mango is measured with a penetrometer