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The mango supply chain

Best practices in each step of the fresh chain have a great influence on the postharvest quality and shelf-life of fruit, including mangos. By applying appropriate harvest processes and chain conditions, quality can be guaranteed and shelf life can be extended. Failure to follow these processes may result in a high degree of food loss or deterioration of the product to a lower quality class. Every step in the chain is important for success later in the chain.

Ripe mangos on a market.

Mango chain

Mangos are tropical fruits and exported globally. They are harvested when mature, but not ripe. Ideally, the packhouse is just a short distance from the orchards. This minimizes the risk on damage during transport and facilitates early cooling in the packhouse. Soon after arrival at the packhouse, unloading takes place and processes such as washing, grading and packing start. After pre-cooling, a proper loading in refrigerated trucks or reefers is important to maintain good temperature conditions during transport. A closed cold chain, so without intermittent warming, is important to control the ripening process and prevent condensation. Until the retail stage, mangos should be mature, but not necessarily ripe yet. Some importers or service providers have packhouses with ripening
facilities. These are important for the concept of ready-to-eat mangos and supply to supermarkets. It is of utmost importance to have a correct handling by supply chain actors from the moment of harvest until purchase by the end customer.

Steps in the mango chain

  1. Harvesting mangos.
    Harvesting mangos.


    The postharvest chain starts with the harvest of the mangos. For distant markets, they must be harvested relatively unripe, but also in a stage which will ensure proper completion of the ripening process. Careful picking at the right maturity is crucial for quality later in the chain. Transport to the packhouse should follow soon after harvest. It is essential that fruit, especially for overseas shipment, is cooled as soon as possible.
  2. Temperature management is important to maintain quality of a mango.
    Temperature management is important to maintain quality of a mango.

    Temperature management

    Quickly lowering the fruit temperature is of great importance. It reduces (too fast) ripening, minimizes fruit water loss and slows decay. However, mangos are susceptible to chilling injury that would lead to visual damages and flavour loss. Therefore we advise to realize a product temperature adapted to the ripening stage; 13 degree (green) and 10-12 degree for riper fruits. Storage in the packhouse and transport from the packhouse to final destination must be properly temperature-controlled.
  3. Packing mangos at a grading and packing line.


    In general, it should be avoided to do more handling than strictly necessary, as this increases the risk of mechanical damage. However, packhouse activities consist of many necessary and important steps, such as sorting/grading. Failure to sort and discard immature, overripe, undersized, misshapen, blemished, or otherwise damaged produce creates problems in subsequent marketing. Grading helps the handlers to categorise the mangos according to common parameters.
  4. Mangos are transported after pre-cooling.


    Pre-cooling of mangos is necessary before they enter the refrigerated truck or reefer. When mangos are harvested at the recommended harvest stage for export and stored as recommended (usually 10-12 °C), a transport time of up to 3 to 4 weeks by reefer is possible. Temperature monitoring during transport must take place. The volumes of mangos which are transported by air are small.
  5. Storage life of mangos can be extended by controlled atmosphere.
    Storage life of mangos can be extended by controlled atmosphere.

    CA and MA

    An optimal temperature is the first requirement to maintain good quality mangos. In addition, the storage life can be extended by applying Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage. The optimal CA conditions differs between varieties. Suboptimal conditions lead to discoloration of fruit flesh or skin, and off-flavour. The ripening delay by CA is usually not enough to be economical in all situations.
  6. Different varies of mangos

    Importers and retail

    Some importers and service providers have ripening facilities. These are important for the ready-to-eat mangos and supply to supermarkets. Mangos are a tropical fruit, optimal temperature depends on maturity and variety of mango. It is best to display at ambient temperature and minimise time to avoid too much ripening. The fruit condition in the shop must be sufficient to have the fruit ultimately arrive at the consumer's home in satisfactory condition.