Mango Ripening

To facilitate successful marketing of mangoes using conventional packaging and postharvest handling methods, mangoes destined for import into the USA are harvested at the mature green stage while still firm.

The fruit are then ripened after they arrive in the USA by the wholesaler, retailer, or consumer (Kader and Mitcham, 2008). Kader and Mitcham note that sales of mangoes increase if ready-to-eat fruit are available at retail markets.

One of the challenges to successful marketing of mangoes is their limited shelf-life (typically 14 to 28 days at the mature-green stage and up to a week at the ripe stage). Postharvest technology that would extend the shelf-life of mangoes without adversely affecting their quality at consumption would be of considerable value to the industry.

Factors Affecting Ripening:


Temperature management is the most critical factor in the management of ripening in mature-green mangoes. Paull and Chen (2004) indicate that holding the fruit in the temperature range of 20 to 23 °C (68.0 to 73.4 °F) provides the best appearance, palatability and decay control when ripening mangoes. Kader and Mitcham (2008) indicate that holding the fruit between 15.5 to 18°C (60 to 65°F) during ripening provides the most attractive skin color, however the flavor remains tart unless the fruit are held an additional 2-3 days at 21-24°C (70-75°F). If mangoes are held at 27-30°C (80-86°F) during ripening, the skin of the fruit becomes mottled and the fruit acquire a strong flavor. Ripening is retarded when mangoes are held above 30°C (86°F). Mature-green mangoes can be held at 10 to 13°C (50 to 55°F) for 14 to 28 days (Paull and Chen, 2004). Ripe mangoes can be held at 10 to 13°C (50 to 55°F) for up to one week.

Being a tropical fruit, mangoes are subject to chilling injury if held below 13°C (55°F) for mature green mangoes, and below 10°C (50 °F) for partially ripe mangoes (Kader and Mitcham, 2008). Ripe mangoes can be held in air storage at 10°C (50 °F) for a few days without chilling injury. Kader and Mitcham note that, in order to avoid the risk of chilling injury to the fruit, it would be preferable to hold mature-green mangoes or mangoes at the breaker stage in a controlled atmosphere chamber with 4% oxygen (with the balance of the atmosphere being nitrogen) and a temperature of 15°C (59°F) than in a normal air environment at 10°C (50 °F) when attempting to delay ripening. The humidity of the air in the ripening or storage facility should be in the 90 to 95% range to avoid fruit dehydration (shrivel).

Hatton et al (1965) reported that ripening and softening rates of Florida mango cultivars increased as temperature increased from 16 to 27C (60.3 to 80.6 F), but the best temperature range was 21 to 24C (69.8 to 75.2 F). Mangos ripened at 27C (80.6 F) and higher temperatures had strong flavors and molted skin (Soule and Harding, 1956; Hatton et al, 1965). Mangos produce relatively low levels of ethylene, but respond to exogenous ethylene applications. Campbell and Malo (1969) found that ripening of mature-green mangos was accelerated in response to ethylene released from 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon). Exposure of Florida mango cultivars picked at the mature-green stage to 20-100 ppm ethylene for 24 hours results in faster and more uniform ripening at 21C (69.8 F) and 92-95% relative humidity (Barmore, 1974). Barmore and Mitchell (1977) reported that having ready-to-eat mangos with better color and aroma at retail stores increased sales. The benefits of ethylene-induced ripening were recently reported for ‘Ataulfo’ mangos (Montalvo et al, 2007).
The rate of ripening in mangoes can be accelerated by treating the fruit with ethylene at 100 ppm in a low (below 1%) carbon dioxide environment for a 12 to 24 hour period (Kader and Mitcham, 2008). The fruit will then ripen in 5 to 9 days, depending upon cultivar, if held at 18 to 22°C (65 to 72°F).

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About Banana Jim

Invented Tarpless Ripening in 1990 (some would argue that!), working at D Theoderedis in Bethlehem, PA. Founded Thermal Technologies, then sold it in 1997. Now head up Global Cooling, with the best ripening rooms and precoolers available. Ethylene scrubbers and ultrasonic humidifiers, too.
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10 Responses to Mango Ripening

  1. Prashant Rastogi says:

    Dear Jim,

    I am Prashant Rastogi from India.

    We are into Cold Chain and have forayed into banana Pack house, with min. mantainable temperature of 2 degree C.

    It would be of utmost help, if you could guide us how to maintain and achieve the most desirable properties of the banana like taste and texture.


    Prashant Rastogi

    • Banana Jim says:

      Dear Prashant – we make equipment that controls airflow and air temperature, for ripening.

      Taste and texture are more from variety, cultivation, and selection.

      And always use ethylene gas to ripen, whether from a Catalytic generator or pressurized cylinder.

  2. joban bindra says:

    we r interested in setting banana ,mango, & papaya repning plant please suggest us about your products & tecnology

  3. Nancy Krupp says:

    Can you offer any guidance for home ripening of a mature green mangoe purchased at the grocery store? I have experimented with a paper bag by placing the mangoe in the bag and clipping the bag closed to ensure darkness. The temperature is that of a kitchen – approximately 70 degrees most of the time. The first attempt resulted in a rotting mangoe only partially edible. The second attempt resulted in a partially ripened mangoe – not totally ripe but edible with dark spots beginning to appear in one end of the mangoe and the other end so fibrous that it was not desirable. The paper bag experiment began when the mangoe in the fruit bowl did not ripen to a satisfactory level to eat. Maybe I don’t know what a satisfactory level to eat is? I know that the mangoes I get in the Thai restaurant are wonderful. The ones I get at home are much less so. I’d like to have good mangoes at home. Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

  4. vaibhav shinde,Ph.d. Student.MPUAT,Udaipur,Rajasthan,INDIA says:

    Dear Jim,
    I have to study on the chilling injury in Mango. I mean i have to go through the heat and some chemical treatment to avoid it. Kindly guide me .What treatment I should use.
    Thanking you,

  5. Jeff says:

    a wiki on ripening mentioned ethanol was used to produce ethylene gas in catalytic converters, is that right?

    • Banana Jim says:

      More or less correct, ethanol is the primary ingredient, but there are several others too. Use of pure ethanol in a catalytic generator, I am told gums up the works, leads to inconsistent production, and evertually ruins the generator.

  6. K Raj says:

    could to tell how of liquid ethylene required for 100 ppm in 80 CUM volume chamber. also source of supply of ethylene in India for ripening process. K Raj

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