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Dennis Kihlstadius during the Viva Fresh Mango Educational Session
“The cold chain of a mango is a tropical chain”
On Friday April 21st, the National Mango Board held an educational session as part of the Viva Fresh Expo.
Mango starts to ripen in distribution channel
The session was presented by Wendy McManus, NMB Retail Program Manager and started off with Dennis Kihlstadius, Ripening Expert with the National Mango Board, explaining the different mango ripening stages. “A mango is not ready-to-eat at harvest, but starts to ripen in the distribution channel,” said Kihlstadius. Once it enters the retail distribution center, the ripening stage is evaluated. Kihlstadius emphasizes the importance of an internal inspection. “A mango cannot be inspected visually. Many people think the red blush shows the level of maturity, but it doesn’t,” he said.
Keep mango out of cooler
In the supply chain, it is key to keep the mango out of a cold cooler. If a mango is stored at a temperature below 50⁰F, it will sustain chilling injury and may turn brown inside. “Believe it or not, but a mango is more chilling-sensitive than a banana,” said Kihlstadius. “The cold chain of a mango is a tropical chain,” he added. Ideally, the temperature in the ripening room is 68⁰F. The fruit should be kept in the ripening room for three days and then cooled down to 55⁰F.
Why less popular in the US than other parts of the world?
Mangos are the most popular fruit in the world, but in the US they are not even in the top 10 ranking of most consumed fruits. Why? Consumer research has shown that:
- 27% of non-mango purchasers say they don’t buy because they don’t know how to select a ripe mango.
- 45% of consumers who were disappointed in mango quality cited “not ripe enough” as the reason.
- 41% of consumers told the NMB they buy mangos on impulse.
“Proper ripening will contribute to consumer acceptance and growth of the category,” said McManus who compared mangos with avocados. “In 2016, the avocado was the #5 ranked fruit in US retail sales and industry experts believe mangos can move in that direction.”
During the session, attendees had the opportunity to taste a Mango and Avocado Salsa and also tried mango cubes sprinkled with Tajin seasoning.
During the final part of the interactive session, three retailers participated in a mango-cutting lesson under supervision of McManus. Joseph Bunting with United Supermarkets, Gary Campisi with Walmart and Juan Estrella with Fiesta Supermarkets volunteered to cut a mango in front of about 350 attendees. They did great and luckily, no band-aid was needed.
For more information:
National Mango Board
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