Dear Friends, I am Ezhilan KaVe, learning about Mangoes since 2012. I can tell some significant facts on Mangoes, with respect to 1) Pre-Harvest, 2) Harvest (especially on Maturity) and 3) Post-Harvest (especially on Ripening). Here Pre-Harvest is Farmers job/responsibility. Here Harvest is Vital Part/Process but generally done without much care or with less care. Mango being seasonal summer fruit, usually arrives between April and June. Usually early arrivals have better price (due to less arrivals) and price drops when summer picks up (due to more arrivals). Many farmers lease the crop to the contractors and these people do the harvest and take to market. Maturity of the Fruit should be the one and only basis for Harvest, but the contractors harvest even the less matured fruit to tap early arrival price gain. Say for example the mango life cycle is 100 days (from flower to fruit), the MATURITY IS NATURAL factor, means when you allow the fruit to be in tree for 100 days the fruit will ripen in tree and fall down. This is 100% maturity and tree ripen fruit (Yellow). If you harvest the same at 90 days, its 90% maturity and shall be green (light). Say at 60 days, its 60% maturity and will be green (dark). HIGHER MATURITY FRUIT TASTE BETTER THAN LOWER MATURITY FRUITS. Except the tree ripen fruit (not available as farmers harvest it just before the birds eat it) all other fruits will be green and MATURITY CANNOT BE INCREASED/IMPROVED BY ARTIFICIAL MEANS, and so once you harvest the fruit, its maturity cycle stops, here ends the Harvest Process. The RIPENING IS THE POST-HARVEST PROCESS, where different maturity fruits harvested are subjected to ripening process. NORMALLY Higher Maturity fruits will Ripen Faster than the Lesser Maturity Fruits. If you harvest 90% Maturity fruit and keep it in your kitchen, it will normally ripen in 2-3 days (irrespective of color it attain). The lesser the maturity the fruit takes more time to ripen. But in this faster world, many people look for READY TO EAT FRUITS and so the traders Artificially Ripen the Mangoes using different means and ways (scientific or unscientific). Many people think Ready to Eat means Fruit with Full Yellow Color. The traditional way of ripening is putting the MATURED MANGOES INTO PADDY STRAW (as it emits Ethylene Gas, which makes it turn yellow (both Outside Skin and Inside Flesh). The Scientific way of Ripening is to put the mangoes into Ethylene Gas Chambers and allow 5% ethylene gas to Trigger/Initiate the ripening process in the fruit. Here too the fruit SLOWLY turn yellow both Outside and Inside uniformly. But some or many traders use Calcium Carbide to make the fruit turn Yellow Outside (but this really does not mean Ripen). This they do for less matured fruits as they do not turn yellow faster. Also they don't taste good. Moreover its health hazard when its carbide ripen.
The fact is there is not even 5% of Ethylene Ripening Chambers available in our country compare to our crop production, so instead of some traders, many turn to follow this crude method of carbide process. We should not even term carbide as ripening process but carbide process.
Pls make sure with your fruit seller, where he is ripening the fruits and its authenticity. Better to buy More Matured Fruits in Green Form and put into Paddy Straw in your store room for 2-3 days or max a week. This will taste better.
Hope you understand the difference between Maturity and Ripening and also the relationship between these two factors. Wish you a Happy Selective Shopping and Tasty Mangoes!
We do work with farmers and farmers co-operatives and export mangoes to European Countries. Farm Registration and Trace-ability is Mandatory for European Union. We don't have retail sales counters in India. Still we do some wholesale.
We wish our Government should bring in Common Minimum Standards for each and every Fruits with respect to Harvest (Maturity) and Post Harvest (Ripening). FSSAI doesn't talk about Maturity but only Ripening. When there is error in first, the second is fault.
I suggest you write to your Vendor (whose mangoes are not satisfactory) to establish his credentials of scientific ripening and its trace-ability.
Ezhilan KaVe, Padmini Gardens, Kangayam Road, Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, India more