Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mango - Queen of tropical fruits

Mango is one of the most celebrated of all tropical fruits and is regarded as queen among any fruits. In general, the tree is long-lived, and some specimens being known to be 300 years old and still fruiting.

Mango fruits would normally reach maturity in 4 to 5 months after the flowering season. The fruits can be eaten fresh and raw. The fruit has one seed that is flattened and sticks centrally with the flesh.

The fruits can be cut in half or side-by-side to the stone. the slices are twisted in opposite directions to free the stone which has to be removed, and the long slices served for eating as appetizers or dessert. Or the two "cheeks" may be cut off, following the contour of the stone; then the remaining side long finger slices of flesh are cut off for use in fruit cups, etc.

The frozen and dried/ canned fruits are used in jams, jellies, preserves, pies, chutney and ice cream. The young green mangoes are also can be eaten raw.

The fruit weighs about 1/4 pound to 3 pounds. The shape of the fruit may be round, ovate, or obovate differ between various cultivar and variety. The immature and young fruits has their skin in green color and as the fruit gets mature, the color of the skin may gradually turns to yellow, orange, purple, red, or combinations of these colors. The flesh of mature fruit is pale yellow to orange. The flesh is juicy, sweet, and sometimes with fibrous.

India produces mango crop, which is 9,920,700 tons and 65% of the world's total mango crop; in 2,471,000 acres of mango cultivation land (which is roughly 70% of its fruit-growing area in the world). Chief importers of mangoes are England and France, absorbing 82% of all mango shipments.

Mango cultivation are native to southern Asia, eastern India, Burma, and the Andaman Islands. Reduction in the size and height of mango plants would be a most desirable goal for the commercial planter, to assist easy harvesting and easy maintainance of trees in different fruiting seasons.

To induce early fruiting, double-grafting has been done in dwarf mango trees. A cultivar 'Julie' is a hybrid dwarf, which has been developed naturally. The polyembryonic Indian cultivars, 'Olour' and 'Vellai Colamban', when used as rootstocks, have a dwarfing effect; so has the polyembryonic 'Sabre' in experiments in Israel and South Africa.

The chemicals in this mangos plant are sometime very irritating to persons who are allergic to poison ivy (Toxicodendron).

Health benefits
  • In general, mango fruits are low in calories and high in dietary fibre.
  • Mangoes contains phenols compound, which has rich antioxidant and anticancer properties.
  • Pregnant women and people with anemia are advised to eat mango fruit regularly. since the iron rich contents of mango.
  • Mango is effective in relieving clogged pores of the skin.
  • Mangoe fruits are particularly rich in potassium, which can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
  • It is also valuable to combat acidity and poor digestion.
  • Even a small size mango holds a quarter of your recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, nearly 2/3's of your daily quota for vitamin A(beta-carotene), and a good amount of vitamin E and Selenium, which help to protect against heart disease.
  • In Chinese Medicine, mangoes are considered sweet and sour with a good cooling energy and are made as tonic.
  • Recent researches suggest mango fruits are a powerful cancer-fighters.
See nutrition values for raw mango fruit at bloodindex

Other uses

The fat from the mango seeds has high stearic acid content and is desirable for soap-making. The seed residue from the extraction of this fat is used for cattle feed and soil enrichment.