Mangifera indica is among the most economically and culturally important tropical fruits, especially in Asia. It was originally found in the foothills of the Himalayas in northeastern India, Burma, and Bangladesh and domesticated thousands of years ago (possibly independently in Southeast Asia). It is now grown in most tropical countries and some subtropical ones (it is grown as far north as 35° to 37° N in southern Spain). Many cultivars in India have been vegetatively propagated for hundreds of years. Early on, hundreds of years ago, mango was brought to Malaysia and other East Asian countries, then to East and West Africa, and finally to the New World. The Portugese introduced the mango to Brazil from their colonies in Mozambique and Angola and mangos were introduced to Mexico and Panama via the Philippines. Mangos were introduced to the West Indies in the mid-to late 1700s, probably via Brazil. In the tropics, mangos grow at elevations up to 1200 m. The trees may reach 40 m or more in height and live for several hundred years. They bear rosettes of evergreen leaves (red or yellow at first) and dense panicles up to 30 cm long of small (5 to 10 mm) reddish or yellowish flowers. The fruits, which range from 2.5 cm to more than 30 cm in length, depending on the cultivar, vary in shape (from round to oval, egg-shaped, or kidney-shaped) and color (green, yellow, red, purple) with a dotted skin. (Vaughan and Geissler 1997; Bompard 2009 and references therein; Mukherjee and Litz 2009 and references therein) A single mature mango tree can produce 2000 to 2500 ripe fruits (Jiron and Headström 1985).
India has long been a major mango producer, but as of 2009 China had risen to become the world's second largest mango producer, with India's production representing less than half the world total. Fresh mangos are now available in stores year-round in North America, Europe, and Japan. (Litz 2009) According to Evans and Mendoza (2009), the majority of the mangos imported by North America come from Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Haiti. India and Pakistan are the main suppliers of western Asia. Southeast Asia is supplied mainly by the Philippines and Thailand. Europe imports mangos mainly from South America and Asia. India and Mexico each account for roughly a fifth to a quarter of world mango exports. World mango imports more than doubled between 1996 and 2005, with the United States accounting for a third of all mango imports.
The peel of the fruit and other parts of the mango can cause contact dermatitis in some people, as is the case for many species in the plant family Anacardiaceae.
The many contributors to Litz (2009) provide a comprehensive overview of mango biology and cultivation.
General: The cashew family (Anacardiaceae), of which mango is a member, includes a number of species which can cause severe skin irritation in humans. Poison ivy (Rhus toxicodendron), found in North America, is one particularly notable example. For most people, mango has no such effect, but in sensitive individuals ingestion of the fruit, or skin contact with its juice, may cause a poison ivy-like rash.
Mango is a large evergreen tree that can reach 15 to 30 m tall. They are fast growing erect trees with slender to broad and rounded upright canopy that can be used for landscape and shade. The trees are long -lived with some still producing fruit at 300 years old. The tree is anchored by a long unbranched taproot can descend to a depth of 6-8 m plus a mass of feeder roots. The feeder roots send down anchor roots which penetrate the soil to a depth of 1.2 m and spread lateral as far as 7.5 m.
The leaves are alternate, simple, leathery, oblong-lanceolate, 29-30 cm long X 3-5 cm wide on flowering branches, up to 50 cm on sterile branches. The young leaves are red, aging to shiny dark green above, lighter below, with yellow or white venation.
The inflorescence is a much-branched panicle bearing many very small (4 mm) greenish white or pinkish flowers. Both male and bisexual flowers are borne on the same tree. The flowers are radially symmetrical, and usually have 5 petals, streaked with red. There is usually only 1 fertile stamen per flower; the 4 other stamens are sterile. The flower has a conspicuous 5-lobed disk between the petals and stamens.
The fruit is an irregularly egg-shaped and slightly compressed fleshy drupe, 8-12 (-30) cm long, attached at the broadest end on a pendulous stalk. The skin is smooth greenish-yellow, sometimes tinged with red. The underlying yellow-orange flesh varies in quality from soft, sweet, juicy and fiber-free in high-quality selected (clonal) varieties to turpentine-flavored and fibrous in unselected (wild) seedlings. The single, compressed-ovoid seed is encased in the white fibrous inner layer of the fruit.
Mangoes can be round, oval, heart-shaped, or kidney-shaped; and can weigh as little as a few ounces or as much as five pounds. Their highly aromatic flesh surrounds a very large inedible flat seed. At its best, it has a pleasant resinous quality, but at its worst can smell like kerosene. The soft pulp is juicy and sweet, although it can sometimes has an acid overtone. Some mangoes have fibrous flesh, while others are buttery all the way through.
The round or oval fruit is somewhat flattened and can weigh up to 0.5 kg. The flesh of good fruit has a pleasant aromatic flavor, but inferior varieties have a turpentine flavor and can be rather fibrous. In the centre is the large fibrous flat seed containing a kernel.
Distribution and Habitat: The mango is native to southern Asia, especially Burma and eastern India. It spread early on to Malaya, eastern Asia and eastern Africa.
Mangoes are grown throughout the tropics, from the Caribbean to Africa, South-East Asia, Australia, as well as India, where the history of the fruit goes back over 6,000 years and closely connected to the Hindu religion. As long ago as the 16th century, mangoes had been distributed via cultivation throughout the Indian subcontinent, and eventually to all tropical regions of the world.
It performs best at elevations from 0-1200 m. with a pronounced rainy season for vegetative growth, a dry season for flowering and fruiting, and on well-drained soils ranging in pH between 5.5 to 7.5. It was not until the 19th century that traders introduced the fruit to the West Indies, Africa, South America, Mexico, Florida, and Hawaii. Mangoes were introduced to California (Santa Barbara) in 1880.
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Derivation of specific name
Kangit, idele, mago, mangot, manako, mango, manggah saipan, manko, meneke, mangko, mangou, manga, mangga, manja, mangoro, manguier, mangue, manguiera, paho, mempelam, te mangko, asai, damangko, mago, edel, kanit, kehngid, tumi vi.
Regularity: Regularly occurring
State - Kerala, District/s: All Districts"
In terminal panicles; cream. Flowering from January-March.
A ovoid-oblong drupe, green when young, ripening yellow; seed solitary. Fruiting from July-August.
Bark rough, dark grey. Sap white. Young leaves shining, reddish.
Oblong or elliptic-lanceolate
SubSpecies Varieties Races
Habitat and Ecology
Extensive information on propagation and establishment, particularly through grafting for the Pacific Basin Islands can be found in Bally (2006). This document is available on the Web at <www.traditionaltree.org>.
In deep sandy type soil the tap root will decend to 20 feet with the feeder roots growing in descending order. The mango requires full sun and perfect air drainage in winter.
Mangos will grow in almost any well-drained sandy, loam or clay soil but does not grow well in heavy wet soils. Soil ph must be between 5.5 and 7.5. They are somewhat tolerant of alkalinity. Plantings established during the dry season will require rainfall or irrigation everyday. The amount of irrigation required will depend on soil type, amount of rainfall, and temperature. Light sandy soils will require almost continues watering until the fruit is harvested. Irrigation should be discontinued when rainfall is sufficient enough to keep the soil moist. Young seedlings require applications of nitrogen fertilizer to promote healthy growth and flower production. However, care must be taken not to create fertilizer burn.
Propagation by seed: Remove the husk and plant the seed with the hump at soil level. Seed will normally germinate in two to four weeks. Seedlings developed from seed will bloom and bear in three to six years.
Propagation by grafting: Small plants with a diameter about the size of a pencil graft well with the common whip graft. Crown groove graft allows several scions to be put on at once. Fully grown trees may be top-worked by crown groove bark graft or prune hard and whip graft sprouts later. Plastic bagging with a few drops of moisture will improve the graft’s chances of being successful. Grafts are most successful if the leaves are allowed to remain below the graft, but removed suckers. When top working, do not dehorn the entire tree, leave several braches fully leafed.
Weaver ants (Oecophylla) can be used to control a variety of mango pests. Drops of formic acid from the ants can leave black marks on the mango fruit skin, but this aesthetic problem can be reduced if ant colonies are isolated from each other, thereby minimizing aggression. (Peng and Christian 2009; VanMele et al. 2009)
Diseases and Parasites
The flowers of Mangifera indica are rather strongly scented, producing a sweetish odor that is easily detected by a human from several meters away. Many insects appear to be attracted by the scent, especially cyclorrhaphan flies. The flowers produce nectar from sepal glands located on the outer margin of the disc, between the petals and the disc proper. The nectar is consumed by flies, beetles, and lepidopterans. A single 10 to 60 cm flower panicle can contain 1000 to 6000 flowers. However, 65 to 85% of the flowers remain unpollinated and, based on pollinator-exclusion trials, mango flowers are apparently not capable of autogamy (self-fertilization). Of observed diurnal flower visitors, Jiron and Headström (1985) reported that 51.6% were flies (especially syrphids, calliphorids, and sciarids), 33% were lepidopterans (especially nymphalids and lycaenids), 11.6% were beetles, and 3.6% were hymenopterans. Syrphid flies acounted for 20.9% of all flower visitors. Nocturnal visitors included Culex mosquitos and unidentified noctuid moths. Insects observed resting on flowers at night included rhynchosciarid sciarids, tipulid flies, Strigoderma rutelina (Scarabaeidae), and Chauliognathus (Coleoptera: Cantharidae). Although detailed pollination studies were not carried out, all observed visitors carried pollen except the lepidopterans, tipulids, and the hymenopteran Synoeca septentrionalis. The syrphids and calliphorids carried the most pollen on their bodies. (Jiron and Headström 1985)
Malerbo-Souza and Halak (2009) also found that flies were the most frequent visitors to mango flowers (other consistent visitors were Tetragonisca angustula bees and Diabrotica speciosa beetles). Fruit set was higher from flowers visited by insects.
Mangifera indica produces only hermaphrodite and staminate (male) flowers. Jiron and Headström (1985) found that in nearly all mango flowers, of the five stamens around the outer edge of the disc of observed hermaphrodite flowers, nearly all had just a single well developed stamen, which produced pollen; just a few percent had two fertile stamens. Singh (1954) found that mango varieties with a high proportion of staminate flowers produced few fruits.
Life History and Behavior
Evolution and Systematics
Systematics and Taxonomy
Eiadthong et al. (1999) used PCR-RFLP to investigate relationships among 13 Mangifera species in Thailand, but low genetic variation permitted little phylogenetic resolution. Yonemori et al. (2002) used ITS sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA to investigate phylogenetic relationships among 14 of the 15 Mangifera species (including M. indica) known from Thailand. Nishiyama et al. (2006) used genomic in situ hybridization to examine phylogenetic relationships among Mangifera indica and eight wild Mangifera species.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Microsatellite markers for investigating genetic variation and distinguishing mango cultivars have been developed by Duval et al. (2005), Honsho et al. (2005), Schnell et al. (2005), and Viruel et al. (2005).
Barcode data: Mangifera indica
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Mangifera indica
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 33
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- Needs updating
- 1997Vulnerable(Walter and Gillett 1998)
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).
Pests and potential problems
In the Pacific Basin, the mango fly (Bactrocera frauenfeldi Schiner) is quite widespread (Pest Management in the Pacific Project 2007). Also, the mango shoot caterpillar (Penicillaria jocosatrix Guenee) affects mango throughout the area (Nafus 2005).
Major insect pests are: mites [avocado red mite (Oligonychus yothersii McG.), tumid mite (Tetranychus tumidus Banks), and broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus Banks)]; scales [lesser snow scale (Pinnaspis strachani Cooley); soft scales: pyriform scale (Protopulvinaria)p pyriformis Ckll.), mango shield scale (P. mangiferae Green), acuminate scale (Kilifia acuminata Sign.), Florida wax scale (Ceroplastes floridensis Comst.); armored scales: Florida red scale (Chrysomphalus ficus L.), and dictyospermum scale (C. dictyospermi Morg.)]; and thrips [red-banded thrips (Selenothrips rubrocinctus Giard.), and Florida flower thrips (Frankliniella cephalica D.L. Crawford)]. Mango trees are also affected by mango decline, a problem associated with micronutrient deficiency. Diseases include: anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Penz.), which affects fruits, inflorescences and foliage; powdery mildew (Oidium sp.) on inflorescences; and mango scab (Elsinoe, mangiferae, Bitanc & Jenk.). Internal breakdown of the fruit is an important problem, the cause of which has not yet been determined. Alga spot (Cephaleuros sp) attacks flowers, young fruit, twigs and leaves.
Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)
Popular varieties in Hawai‘i include ‘Haden’, ‘Ah Ping’, ‘Gouviea’, ‘Momi K’, ‘Fairchild’, ‘Pope’, ‘Rapoza’, and ‘Harders’. In the Solomon Islands and Fiji, the Australian variety ‘Kensington Pride’ has been introduced and grown successfully. In Samoa, the mango varieties ‘Momi K’, ‘Fiji’, ‘Mapulehu’, ‘White Pirie’, ‘Rapoza’, ‘Jara’, and ‘Kensington Pride’ are common. In Tahiti, ‘Kopu Reva’ is a popular variety (Bally 2006). Bally provides an extensive discussion of recommended varieties for Hawaii and the Pacific Basin Islands on the Web at <www.traditionaltree.org>.
Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
Extensive information on the management of mango in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin Islands can be found in Bally (2006). This document is available on the Web at <www.traditionaltree.org>.
Mango trees managed for commercial fruit production should be irrigated once weekly in coastal areas and almost continuously in dry areas until the fruit is harvested. After harvest, irrigation should be reduced to a level that prevents wilt. This process should continue for about two months before increasing irrigation to initiate new bloom and growth cycle. While irrigation is important for tree establishment and survival, it must be part of an overall management plan that includes fertilization. These trees require a feeding program similar to the one used for citrus. This feeding program must include nitrogen and the micronutrient especially iron.
Once plantings are established pruning can be used to stimulate new growth, provide for uniform annual fruit bearing, and control size. Pruning should be preformed in late winter and early spring to avoid loss of fruit. When pruning or removing litter avoid getting the sap on unprotected skin, because the sap can cause severe dermatitis. Pruned material and other mango litter should not be burned to avoid breathing affected air.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Stem: For an antidiarrhoeic and to remedy stomachache. Decoction of bark for throat problems. When incised, yields an oleoresin which is stimulant, sudorific and antisyphilitic. Leaf: Infusion is drunk to reduce blood pressure, and used in a convalescent bath. Leaf is odontalgic, especially when employed to harden the gums; astringent, often used to remedy angina and asthma. Used for diabetes in NW Guyana. Fruit: Antiscorbutic, antidysenteric. Seed: Pulverised mango seed is made into a sweetened tea and drunk, or taken as powders, for dysentery. Seed is astringent, antidiarrhoeic; anthelmintic when roasted.
Comments: The succulent fruit is greatly relished and the wood is of good quality for general carpentry. It is important to note, however, that this species is not native to the New World.
The leaves are used in religious rituals. Good firewood species.
Wood moderately hard and used for making furniture and boats. Fruits are edible. Pickles are prepared from the immature fruits.
Mango fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C and carotenoids and Oliveira et al. (2010) found that the nutrient content of mangos was quite stable during fruit processing in a commercial restaurant.
Human Food: The fruit is used in jams, preserves, pies, chutney, ice cream, jellies, canned fruits, and in frozen or dried fruits. However, fresh consumption is the most important and widest use of the fruit. The fruit is a good source of vitamins A and C.
Green mangoes are often cooked and eaten like vegetables or made into a delicious chutney or dried and ground into a powder called "amchoor" and used to impart a sour flavor to food.
The kernels can be boiled and eaten with greens or ground and eaten roasted, dried, or pickled; but are generally eaten in times of famine or by the poorest.
Livestock Food: Mango leaves are occasionally fed to cattle, but large quantities can cause death.
The fruits are relished by both cattle and pigs; however, the kernels are fairly rich in tannins, which progressively lead to reduced growth rates and less efficient feed utilization when included as a major component in diets for pigs and poultry.
Mangoes that are not fully mature are sliced and ensiled in pits 1.5 m3 dug in the ground and lined with large leaves. One percent salt should be added. The pits are tightly covered with leaves and soil. This silage can be used for off-season pig feeding.
Ethnobotanic: Dried mango flowers, containing 15% tannin, serve as astringents in cases of diarrhea, chronic dysentery, catarrh of the bladder and chronic urethritis. The bark was used against rheumatism and diphtheria. The resinous gum from the trunk was applied to cracks in the skin of the feet and on scabies. Mango kernel decoction and powder were used as vermifuges and as astringents in treatment for diarrhea, hemorrhages and bleeding hemorrhoids. Leaf decoction was taken as a remedy for fever, chest pains, diarrhea, diabetes, and hypertension. Extracts of bark, leaves, stems, and unripe fruits were used as antibiotics for many ills.
When mango trees are in bloom, it is not uncommon for people to suffer itching around the eyes, facial swelling and respiratory difficulty, even though there is no airborne pollen. The few pollen grains are large and they tend to adhere to each other even in dry weather. The stigma is small and not designed to catch windborne pollen. The irritant is probably the vaporized essential oil of the flowers which contains the sesquiterpene alcohol, mangiferol, and the ketone, mangiferone.
The twigs and leaves, used to clean the teeth, are said to be beneficial to the gums, while the bark is said to be useful for toothaches. The astringent stomachic bark is also used for internal hemorrhages, bronchitis, and catarrh. The resin is used for cracked feet, ringworm, and other fungi, syphilis, and to induce sweating. Smoke from the burning leaves is believed to cure various throat disorders, from asthma to hiccups. Dried mango flowers, containing 15% tannin, serve as astringents in cases of diarrhea, chronic dysentery, catarrh of the bladder and chronic urethritis resulting from gonorrhea.
Green fruits are considered anticholeric (baked and mixed with sugar and taken internally and also rubbed over the body), antidysmenorrheic, antiscorbutic, astringent, and diaphoretic. Roasted green fruits are dissolved in sugar water and taken internally to prevent sunstroke. Ripe fruits are considered diuretic, laxative, and unguent. A gruel made of the seeds is taken internally for bleeding piles. The wood is favored for making shovels.
The bark contains mangiferine and is astringent and employed against rheumatism and diphtheria in India. The resinous gum from the trunk is applied on cracks in the skin of the feet and on scabies, and is believed helpful in cases of syphilis.
Mango kernel decoction and powder (not tannin-free) are used as vermifuges and as astringents in diarrhea, hemorrhages and bleeding hemorrhoids. The fat is administered in cases of stomatitis. Extracts of unripe fruits and of bark, stems and leaves have shown antibiotic activity. In some of the islands of the Caribbean, the leaf decoction is taken as a remedy for diarrhea, fever, chest complaints, diabetes, hypertension and other ills. A combined decoction of mango and other leaves is taken after childbirth.
Seed fat: Having high stearic acid content, the fat is desirable for soap-making. The seed residue after fat extraction is usable for cattle feed and soil enrichment.
Bark: The bark possesses 16% to 20% tannin and has been employed for tanning hides. It yields a yellow dye, or, with turmeric and lime, a bright rose-pink.
Wood: Kiln-dried and preservative treatment wood is used to make window frames, rafters, joists, plywood, shoe heels, boxes, boats, and canoes.
Wildlife: Mango fruit and leaves are eaten by deer.
Although mango fruits are economically and culturally important across much of the world, like many other members of the Anacardiaceae, they contain toxic phenols that can cause serious contact dermatitis and other (occasionally very serious) allergic reactions in some people (Aguilar-Ortigoza et al. 2003). Prior exposure to poison ivy (Toxicodendron, also in the Anacardiaceae) appears to make an allergic reaction to mango more likely (Hershko et al. 2005).
The mango skin and sap can be allergic to some people and should be eaten with caution as they can produce the same type of allergic reactions as poison ivy/oak/sumac, including skin lesions or the more serious swollen lips and tongue.
Mangifera indica is a species of mango in the Anacardiaceae family. It is found in the wild in India and cultivated varieties have been introduced to other warm regions of the world. It is the largest fruit-tree in the world, capable of a height of one-hundred feet and an average circumference of twelve to fourteen feet, sometimes reaching twenty. The species appears to have been domesticated in India at around 2000 BC. The species was brought to East Asia around 400-500 BCE from India; next, in the 15th century to the Philippines; and then, in the 16th century to Africa and Brazil by the Portuguese. The species was described for science by Linnaeus in 1753.
Mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines. It finds mention in the songs of 4th century CE Sanskrit poet Kalidasa. Prior to that, it is believed to have been tasted by Alexander (3rd century BCE) and Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang (7th century CE). Later in 16th century Mughal Emperor, Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, Bihar at a place now known as Lakhi Bagh.
Mangiferin (a pharmacologically active flavonoid, a natural xanthone C-glycoside) is extracted from Mango at high concentrations from the young leaves (172 g/kg), bark (107 g/kg), and from old leaves (94 g/kg). Allergenic urushiols are present in the fruit peel and can trigger contact dermatitis in sensitised individuals. This reaction is more likely to occur in people who have been exposed to other plants from the Anacardiaceae family, such as poison oak and poison ivy, which are widespread in the United States.
In ayurveda, it is used in a Rasayana formula (q.v.), clearing digestion and acidity due to pitta (heat), sometimes with other mild sours and shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) and guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia). In this oriental system of traditional medicines, varied medicinal properties are attributed to different parts of the mango tree, both as food and medicine. It is anti-diuretic, anti-diarrheal, anti-emetic and cardiac herb.
The tree is more known for its fruit rather than for its lumber. However, mango trees can be converted to lumber once their fruit bearing lifespan has finished. The wood is susceptible to damage from fungi and insects. The wood is used for musical instruments such as ukeleles, plywood and low-cost furniture. The wood is also known to produce phenolic substances that can cause contact dermatitis.
Author Pablo Antonio Cuadra, created a narrative of the Mango in Nicaragua; "the mango that arrived in Nicaragua from distant Hindustan.", a single sapling that was placed on a ship in Hindustan and planted in a garden in Granada. Nicaragua is known for its many mangos.
- (1846). The Missionary guide-book, p.180. Seeley, Burnside, and Seeley.
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- Gepts, P. (n.d.). "PLB143: Crop of the Day: Mango, Mangifera indica". The evolution of crop plants. Dept. of Plant Sciences, Sect. of Crop & Ecosystem Sciences, University of California, Davis. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
- GRIN (May 5, 1997). "Mangifera indica information from ARS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
- "National Fruit". Govt. of India Official website.
- Barreto J.C., Trevisan M.T.S., Hull W.E., Erben G., De Brito E.S., Pfundstein B., Würtele G., Spiegelhalder B., Owen R.W. (2008). "Characterization and quantitation of polyphenolic compounds in bark, kernel, leaves, and peel of mango (Mangifera indica L.)". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56 (14): 5599–5610. doi:10.1021/jf800738r. PMID 18558692.
- Urushiol CASRN: 53237-59-5 TOXNET (Toxicology Data Network) NLM (NIH). Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- National R&D Facility For Rasayana
- "Mango". The Wood Database. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Economic importance of Mangifera indica". Green Clean Guide. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Tu, series editor, Anthony T. (1983). Handbook of natural toxins. New York: Dekker. p. 425. ISBN 0824718933.
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- Rounsefel, Erica (2008). Adventure Guide Nicaragua. Edison, NJ: Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. 205. ISBN 978-158843-632-0.
- Litz, Richard E. (ed. 2009). The Mango: Botany, Production and Uses (2nd edition). CABI. ISBN 978-1-84593-489-7
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2013)|
The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to South Asia, from where it has been distributed worldwide to become one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics. While other Mangifera species (e.g. horse mango, M. foetida) are also grown on a more localized basis, Mangifera indica – the 'common mango' or 'Indian mango' – is the only mango tree commonly cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions. It is the national fruit of India and the Philippines.
In several cultures, its fruit and leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings, public celebrations and religious ceremonies.
The English word "mango" (plural "mangoes" or "mangos") originated from the Tamil word māṅgai or mankay or Malayalam māṅga from the Dravidian root word for the same via Portuguese (also manga). The word's first recorded attestation in a European language was a text by Ludovico di Varthema in Italian in 1510, as manga; the first recorded occurrences in languages such as French and post-classical Latin appear to be translations from this Italian text. The origin of the "-o" ending in English is unclear.
When mangoes were first imported to the American colonies in the 17th century, they had to be pickled due to lack of refrigeration. Other fruits were also pickled and came to be called "mangoes", especially bell peppers, and by the 18th century, the word "mango" became a verb meaning "to pickle".
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Mango trees (Mangifera indica L.) grow up to 35–40 m (115–130 ft) tall, with a crown radius of 10 m (33 ft). The trees are long-lived, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years. In deep soil, the taproot descends to a depth of 6 m (20 ft), with profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots; the tree also sends down many anchor roots, which penetrate several feet of soil. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15–35 cm (5.9–14 in) long and 6–16 cm (2.4–6.3 in) broad; when the leaves are young they are orange-pink, rapidly changing to a dark, glossy red, then dark green as they mature. The flowers are produced in terminal panicles 10–40 cm (3.9–16 in) long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with a mild, sweet odor suggestive of lily of the valley. The fruit takes three to six months to ripen.
The ripe fruit varies in size and color. Cultivars are variously yellow, orange, red or green, and carry a single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, and which does not separate easily from the pulp. Ripe, unpeeled mangoes give off a distinctive resinous, sweet smell. Inside the pit 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) thick is a thin lining covering a single seed, 4–7 cm (1.6–2.8 in) long. The seed contains the plant embryo.
Mangoes have been cultivated in South Asia for thousands of years and reached East Asia between the fifth and fourth centuries BC. By the 10th century AD, cultivation had begun in East Africa. The 14th century Moroccan traveler, Ibn Battuta, reported it at Mogadishu. Cultivation came later to Brazil, the West Indies and Mexico, where an appropriate climate allows its growth.
The mango is now cultivated in most frost-free tropical and warmer subtropical climates; almost half of the world's mangoes are cultivated in India alone, with the second-largest source being China. Mangoes are also grown in Andalusia, Spain (mainly in Málaga province), as its coastal subtropical climate is one of the few places in mainland Europe that allows the growth of tropical plants and fruit trees. The Canary Islands are another notable Spanish producer of the fruit. Other cultivators include North America (in South Florida and California's Coachella Valley), South and Central America, the Caribbean, Hawai'i, south, west and central Africa, Australia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Southeast Asia. Though India is the largest producer of mangoes, it accounts for less than one percent of the international mango trade; India consumes most of its own production.
Many commercial cultivars are grafted on to the cold-hardy rootstock of Gomera-1 mango cultivar, originally from Cuba. Its root system is well adapted to coastal Mediterranean climate. Many of the 1,000+ mango cultivars are easily cultivated using grafted saplings, ranging from the "turpentine mango" (named for its strong taste of turpentine) to the huevos de toro. Dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties serve as ornamental plants and can be grown in containers. A wide variety of diseases can afflict mangoes; see List of mango diseases.
Mangoes are generally sweet, although the taste and texture of the flesh varies across cultivars, some having a soft, pulpy texture similar to an overripe plum, while others firmer, like a cantaloupe or avocado and some may have a fibrous texture. For consumption of unripe, pickled or cooked fruit, its skin can be consumed but has potential to cause contact dermatitis of the lips, gingiva or tongue in susceptible people. Under-ripe mangoes can be ripened by refrigeration for 4–5 days.
Mangoes are widely used in cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, athanu, pickles, side dishes, or may be eaten raw with salt, chili, or soy sauce. A summer drink called Aam panna comes from mangoes. Mango pulp made into jelly or cooked with red gram dhal and green chillies may be served with cooked rice. Mango lassi, is popular throughout South Asia, prepared by mixing ripe mangoes or mango pulp with buttermilk and sugar. Ripe mangoes are also used to make curries. Aamras is a popular thick juice made of mangoes with sugar or milk, and is consumed with bread, rice or pooris. The pulp from ripe mangoes is also used to make jam called mangada. Andhra Aavakaaya is a pickle made from raw, unripe, pulpy and sour mango, mixed with chilli powder, fenugreek seeds, mustard powder, salt and groundnut oil. Mango is also used in Andhra to make Dal preparations. Gujaratis use mango to make chunda (a grated mango delicacy)
Mangoes are used in preserves such as moramba, amchur (dried and powdered unripe mango) and pickles, including a spicy mustard-oil pickle and alcohol. Ripe mangoes are often cut into thin layers, desiccated, folded, and then cut. These bars are similar to dried guava fruit bars available in some countries. The fruit is also added to cereal products such as muesli and oat granola.
Unripe mango may be eaten with bagoong (especially in the Philippines), fish sauce or with dash of salt. Dried strips of sweet, ripe mango (sometimes combined with seedless tamarind to form mangorind) are also popular. Mangoes may be used to make juices, mango nectar, and as a flavoring and major ingredient in ice cream and sorbetes.
Mango is used to make juices, smoothies, ice cream, fruit bars, raspados, aguas frescas, pies and sweet chili sauce, or mixed with chamoy, a sweet and spicy chili paste. It is popular on a stick dipped in hot chili powder and salt or as a main ingredient in fresh fruit combinations. In Central America, mango is either eaten green mixed with salt, vinegar, black pepper and hot sauce, or ripe in various forms. Toasted and ground pumpkin seed (called pepita) with lime and salt are the norm when eating green mangoes. Some people also add soy sauce or chili sauce.
Pieces of mango can be mashed and used as a topping on ice cream or blended with milk and ice as milkshakes. Sweet glutinous rice is flavored with coconut, then served with sliced mango as a dessert. In other parts of Southeast Asia, mangoes are pickled with fish sauce and rice vinegar. Green mangoes can be used in mango salad with fish sauce and dried shrimp. Mango with condensed milk may be used as a topping for shaved ice.
Nutrients and phytochemicals
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||250 kJ (60 kcal)|
|- Dietary fiber||1.6 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||54 μg (7%)|
|- beta-carotene||640 μg (6%)|
|- lutein and zeaxanthin||23 μg|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.028 mg (2%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.038 mg (3%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||0.669 mg (4%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.197 mg (4%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.119 mg (9%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||43 μg (11%)|
|Choline||7.6 mg (2%)|
|Vitamin C||36.4 mg (44%)|
|Vitamin E||0.9 mg (6%)|
|Vitamin K||4.2 μg (4%)|
|Calcium||11 mg (1%)|
|Iron||0.16 mg (1%)|
|Magnesium||10 mg (3%)|
|Manganese||0.063 mg (3%)|
|Phosphorus||14 mg (2%)|
|Potassium||168 mg (4%)|
|Sodium||1 mg (0%)|
|Zinc||0.09 mg (1%)|
|Link to USDA Database entry|
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Although not confirmed scientifically, mango peel pigments may have biological effects, including carotenoids, such as the provitamin A compound, beta-carotene, lutein and alpha-carotene, polyphenols such as quercetin, kaempferol, gallic acid, caffeic acid, catechins, tannins, and the unique mango xanthonoid, mangiferin, which are under preliminary research for their potential to counteract various disease processes. Phytochemical and nutrient content appears to vary across mango species. Up to 25 different carotenoids have been isolated from mango pulp, the densest of which was beta-carotene, which accounts for the yellow-orange pigmentation of most mango species. Peel and leaves also have significant polyphenol content, including xanthonoids, mangiferin and gallic acid. Work presented at the Australian Health and Medical Research Congress at Melbourne, showed that certain compounds in the mango skin help fight diseases such as diabetes, control cholesterol levels and prevent some forms of cancer.
The mango triterpene, lupeol, is an effective inhibitor in laboratory models of prostate and skin cancers. An extract of mango branch bark called Vimang, isolated by Cuban scientists, contains numerous polyphenols with antioxidant properties in vitro and on blood parameters of elderly humans.
The pigment euxanthin, known as Indian yellow, is often thought to be produced from the urine of cattle fed mango leaves; the practice is described as having been outlawed in 1908 due to malnutrition of the cows and possible urushiol poisoning. This supposed origin of euxanthin appears to rely on a single, anecdotal source, and Indian legal records do not outlaw such a practice.
Potential for contact dermatitis
Contact with oils in mango leaves, stems, sap, and skin can cause dermatitis and anaphylaxis in susceptible individuals. It contains mangiferen, resinous acid, mangiferic acid, and the resinol called mangiferol. Those with a history of poison ivy or poison oak contact dermatitis may be most at risk for mango contact dermatitis. Cross-reactions between mango allergens and urushiol, a chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac that can cause dermatitis, have been observed. Urushiol is also present in mango leaves and stems. During its primary ripening season, it is the most common cause of plant dermatitis in Hawaii. After contacting it, reactions may not be immediate. Eyelids, face, or other parts of the body may even swell because of this. It irritates the skin and may even blister the skin. Also, burning of the mango wood, leaves, etc. should be avoided because fumes could be dangerous.
The mango is the national fruit of India and the Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh. In India, harvest and sale of mangoes is during March–May and this is annually covered by news agencies. "Frooti" is an Indian mango drink and the Coca-Cola company started their own drink, called "Maaza", in order to compete with it.
The Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605 AD) is said to have planted a mango orchard having 100,000 trees in Darbhanga, eastern India. The Jain goddess Ambika is traditionally represented as sitting under a mango tree. In Hinduism, the perfectly ripe mango is often held by Lord Ganesha as a symbol of attainment, regarding the devotees potential perfection. Mango blossoms are also used in the worship of the goddess Saraswati. No Telugu/Kannada New Year's Day called Ugadi passes without eating ugadi pachadi made with mango pieces as one of the ingredients. In Tamil Brahmin homes mango is an ingredient in making vadai paruppu on Sri Rama Navami day (Lord Ram's Birth Day) and also in preparation of pachadi on Tamil New Year's Day.
Dried mango skin and its seeds are also used in Ayurvedic medicine. Mango leaves are used to decorate archways and doors in Indian houses and during weddings and celebrations like Ganesh Chaturthi. Mango motifs and paisleys are widely used in different Indian embroidery styles, and are found in Kashmiri shawls, Kanchipuram silk sarees, etc. Paisleys are also common to Iranian art, because of its pre-Islamic Zoroastrian past.
In Tamil Nadu, the mango is considered,[by whom?] along with banana and jackfruit, as one of the three royal fruits (Mukkani-முக்கனி) occupying first place in terms of sweetness and flavor. Ma-pala-vazhai (மா-பலா-வாழை).[clarification needed]
Famous Urdu poet Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was very fond of mangoes. There are many anecdotes concerning his love for mangoes. Rabindranath Tagore was fond of mangoes and has written poems about its flowers- aamer monjori. Poet Sa'd Bin Ard has written some poems about mangoes.
In the West Indies, the expression "to go mango walk" means to steal another person's mango fruits. This is celebrated in the famous song, The Mango Walk.
Many tales of mangoes are found in the historically significant books of India, suggesting that the existence of this fruit in Indian sub-continent before anywhere else can be traced on globe.
Production and consumption
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates worldwide production at nearly 35,000,000 tonnes (39,000,000 short tons) in 2009 (table below). The aggregate production of the top 10 countries is responsible for roughly 80% of worldwide production. India is the biggest producer of mangoes.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
Many hundreds of named mango cultivars exist. In mango orchards, several cultivars are often crossed to improve pollination. Many desired cultivars are monoembryonic and must be propagated by grafting or they do not breed true. A common mono-embryonic cultivar is Alphonso, an important export product, considered as "the king of mangoes".
Cultivars that excel in one climate may fail elsewhere. For example, Indian cultivars such as Julie, a prolific cultivar in Jamaica, require annual fungicide treatment to escape a lethal fungal disease known as anthracnose in Florida. Asian mangoes are resistant to anthracnose.
The current world market is dominated by the cultivar Tommy Atkins, a seedling of Haden that first fruited in 1940 in southern Florida, U.S. It was initially rejected commercially by Florida researchers. For example, 80% of mangoes in UK supermarkets are Tommy Atkins. Despite its fibrous flesh and only fair taste, growers worldwide have embraced the cultivar for its exceptional productivity and disease resistance, shelf life, transportability, size and appealing color.
Generally, ripe mangoes have an orange-yellow or reddish peel and are juicy for eating, while exported fruit are often picked while underripe with green peels. Although producing ethylene while ripening, unripened exported mangoes do not have the same juiciness or flavor as fresh fruit.
- Aavakaaya South India pickled mango
- Ethanolic extract of mango peel
- Mangosteen, an unrelated fruit with a similar name.
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French Guiana: manguier. FG Creole: pied mangue. FG Palikur and Wayapi: ma. French Guiana, Guyana and Surinam: mango. Surinam: bobbie manja, kajanna manja, manja, manje, manya. Surinam Malayan: mangga.
This species is used in northwestern Amazonia as an abortifacient and contraceptive.