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Mango Fruit - Benefits of Mango Tree

Botanical Name: Magnifera indica, linn

Family Name : Anacardiaceae

Mango is the most popular and the choicest fruit of India and occupies a prominent place among the fruits of the world. Few other tropical fruits have the historic reputation like that of mango. Few others are so intimately connected with Indian folklore. It grows on a large evergreen tree 10-14 m high with a heavy dome-shaped crown and a straight stout bole.

Mango fruits are oval and egg shaped with smooth, soft skin.  The skin is usually a combination of green, red, and yellow. The interior flesh is bright orange and soft  with a large, flat pit in the middle. Mangos and papayas may be confused, but papayas are more bell-shaped than mangos.

Origin and Distribution

Native to southern Asia, especially eastern India, Burma, and the Andaman Islands, the mango has been cultivated, praised and even revered in its homeland since Ancient times. Mangos were brought to England and Europe after the English occupied India in 1800's. They were brought to Brazil and the West Indies in the 1700's with exploration of the area, and to Florida in the late 1800's. Portuguese and Spanish traders took mangos from India to East Africa, the Philippines, and western Mexico. From western Mexico, mangos were taken to Hawaii in the early 1800s. A cottage industry of a few hundred acres exists there today. Florida production grew through the early 1900's in southern Florida, but urbanization, freezes and hurricanes reduced production from  7000 acres to 2500 acres. In 1992, hurricane Andrew reduced the Florida acreage to 1000-1500, where it remains today. Despite the small scale of the Florida industry, it has been extremely valuable to mango cultivation worldwide due to the research and cultivar development carried out through the 1900s.

Properties of mango

Ripe fruit laxative, diuretic, anti-haemorrhagic, refreshing, restorative, linthotropic, ophthalmic, astringent, anthelmintic, antidiarrhoea, anti-syphilitic & tonic.

Forms of Use :- Mango kernel, juice of ripe mango, unripe mango, unripe small mango (about torch bulb size), seed powder and boiled unripe mango etc.

Food Value of mango

The mango fruit is one of the highly prized fruits of the tropics. It has rich aromatic flavour and is decent in taste having well blended mixture of acidity & sweetness. Unripe fruits are usually acidic and used for pickles, chutney, amchur and culinary preparations. Ripe fruits are preserved by canning or used in the manufacture of juice, squash, jams and jellies, preserves (murabba) and Ampapar (Amavat).

Analysis of the flesh of green & ripe mangoes gave the following composition (per 100 gms):

Content Green Mango Ripe Mango
Moisture 90.0% 86.1%
Protein 0.7% 0.6%
Vitamins C 3mg/100g 13mg/100g
Carbohydrate 8.8% 11.8%
Phosphorus 0.02% 0.02%
Vitamin B2 30ug 50ug
Calcium 0.01% 0.01%

The mango fruit also contains fluorine, iodine, copper, potassium, sulphur and magnesium.

The sugar and acid contents may vary as per condition and variety of mango. Sucrose, glucose, fructose-are the principal carbohydrates present in ripe mango; maltose is also present. It has total sugars-11.20-,16.80% with reducing sugars-1.404.83% with and non-reducing sugar-8.19-13.81 %. Small amounts of cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectins are also present. The green tender fruit is rich in starch; during ripening the starch is hydrolysed into reducing sugars and a part of the latter is synthesised into sucrose. In the post-ripening stage, sucrose decomposes into reducing sugars.

Unripe fully developed mangoes of pickle variety contain citric, malic, oxalic, succinic acids besides two di & tri-basic acids; citric acid is the dominant constituent. As the fruit ripens, acid content decreases to more than half. Among amino acids, mango has asparatic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, glycine, methionine, leucine and cystein.

Medicinal Uses & benefits

  1. Ripe mango fruit is considered invigorating, refreshing and fattening. The juice along with aromatics is recommended as a restorative tonic.
  2. It is a powerful nutritive fruit, containing most of essential substances needed by our body.
  3. It contains vitamins and minerals along with important chemicals that can keep our body fit and fine. So, it is a complete natural food.
  4. Unripe mango (of about torch bulb size) if used 6 pieces at a time per day for a week, clears all stones from kidney. This should be repeated consecutively 3 years in mango season.
  5. A drink made from boiled unripe mango with salt and sugar is a wonderful remedy for heat stroke.
  6. Powdered mango seed when taken 3 times a day cures diarrhea and dysentery.
  7. Mango juice and milk is a restorative tonic. It should be taken throughout the season to stay healthy.
  8. Toothpowder prepared from mango leaves keeps teeth healthy.
  9. The gum obtained from mango tree is used for dressing cracked feet and for scabies. It is also considered anti syphilitic.
  10. Sun-dried slices of the unripe fruit are excellent remedy for scurvy.
  11. The resinous liquid, oozing out at the cut end of the stalk of a fruit about to ripen, mixed with lime juice is a useful dressing for scabies and other skin diseases.
  12. The skin of the unripe fruit is given with sugar in menses disturbance; the skin is astringent and a stimulant tonic; its powder is given with milk and honey for bleeding dysentery and as a tonic for the digestive organs.
  13. The ripe fruit is laxative, diuretic and useful in haemorrhage of uterus, lungs & intestines.
  14. The sind of the fruit is astringent, stimulant and used as a tonic in debility.
  15. Its juice, if snuffed, is said to stop nasal bleeding.
  • Dried Slices - Immature mangoes are cut into pieces, mixed with salt (6-8%) and dried in the sun. The dried product is packed in wooden pet; or box and used in the preparation of chutney & pickles.
    A popular method of preserving unripe mango is to cut the peeled material into thin slices and leave it to dry in the sun; slices may be seasoned with turmeric powder before drying. Known as Amchur, the dried material is used as such or after grinding into powder. The powder keeps well for about 3 years if packed in air-tight containers. Amchur is used as a souring agent for soup, chutney & vegetables.
  • Mango Chutney - Unripe mango is used for this preparation. Peeled slices are softened by heating with a small amount of water. Sugar, salt, red chilli powder, ginger & other spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cumin etc.) are added and the mixture cooked over slow fire till it becomes fairly thick. Vinegar is then added and cooking continued till the desired consistency is obtained. In some preparations, dry fruits are also added.
  • Mango Pickle (Achaar) - To make mango pickle, slices of unripe mango, mustard oil, fenugreek, turmeric, fennel, powdered red chilli, salt and pepper are needed. All the ingredients are mixed together and stored for quite some time in mustard oil till pulp softens.
  • Canned Mango - Firm ripe mango fruits are selected for canning. After washing, the fruit is peeled and the flesh cut into long pieces of almost equal size. The pieces or slices are placed in brine (2%) to prevent browning & canned in hot sugar syrup containing 0.3%-0.5% citric acid. Mango pulp obtained by squeezing out the juice from ripe fruits is canned in the same way as slices. Trimmings are used in the preparation of jams & squashes. Canned mangoes are a good source of BCarotene (Vitamin A) and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). The vitamins are well retained in canned pieces.
  • Mango Leather (Aam Papar, Amawat) - Mango pulp dried in the form of sheets or slabs is commonly called mango leather or mango bread (Aam Papar). The juice from full ripe or slightly over-ripe mangoes is squeezed out, strained through cloth and spread in thin layers over mat smeared with mustard oil and dried in the sun. The product is exposed to sulphur fumes before packing.
  • Juice Powder - It is prepared by concentrating the mango juice, blending with sugars, fruit acids etc. and drying in a vacuum shelf drier. The dried material is powdered and packed in air-tight containers with or without inpackage desiccants. The product is a rich source of vitamins and can be used in the preparation of icecreams and food for infants and invalids. It can be reconstituted into juice and used as a beverage.
  • Mango Custard Powder - It is obtained from mango pulp mixed with skimmed milk powder, sugar, corn starch & other ingredients. The blend is dried to 1-1.5% moisture & ground to a granular powder. It contains Moisture 1.3%, Protein 7-1 %, Fat 0.17%, Starch 3.6%, Sugar 18.4%, Fibre 1.5%, Ash 2.6%, Iron 6.6 mg, P 204.0 mg, Ca 238 mg, Vitamin C 32.8 mg, f3-carotene (Vitamin A) 12,000 ug/100g; acidity 1.18%.

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