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Sindhri Mango of Pakistan
Mangoes belong to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous species of tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is indigenous to Indiamarker. Cultivated in many tropical regions and distributed widely in the world, mango is one of the most extensively exploited fruits for food, juice, flavor, fragrance and color, making it a common ingredient in new functional foods often called superfruits.

Its leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings and religious ceremonies, in India.


Mango inflorescence and immature fruit
The seed can be hairy or fibrous
Mango trees (Mangifera indica L.) reach 35–40 m in height, with a crown radius of 10 m. The tree is long-lived with some specimens known to be over 300 years old and still fruiting. In deep soil the taproot descends to a depth of 6 metres (20 feet), and the profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots also send down many anchor roots which penetrate for several feet. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15–35 cm long and 6–16 cm 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 long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5–10 mm long, with a mild sweet odor suggestive of lily of the valley. The fruit takes from three to six months to ripen.

The ripe fruit is variable in size and color, and may be yellow, orange, red or green when ripe, depending on the cultivar.When ripe, the unpeeled fruit gives off a distinctive resinous sweet smell. In its center is a single flat oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, depending on the cultivar. Inside the pit 1–2 mm thick is a thin lining covering a single seed, 4–7 cm long, 3–4 cm wide, and 1 cm thick. The seed contains the plant embryo.

Cultivation and uses

Mango tree with flowers.
Mangoes have been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years and reached East Asia between the 5th-4th century BC. By the 10th century AD, they were transported to East Africa and subsequently introduced to Brazilmarker, West Indiesmarker and Mexicomarker, where climate allows its appropriate growth. The 14th century Muslim traveler, Ibn Battuta, reported it at Mogadishumarker.Mango is now cultivated as a fruit tree in frost-free tropical and warmer subtropical climates like that of the Indian subcontinent; nearly half of the world's mangoes are cultivated in India alone.

Other regions where mango is cultivated include North, South and Central America, the Caribbeanmarker, south, west and central Africa, Australia, Chinamarker, Pakistanmarker and Southeast Asia. It is easily cultivated yielding more than 1,000 cultivars, ranging from the "turpentine mango" (named for its strong taste of turpentine, which according to the Oxford Companion to Food some varieties actually contain) to the huevos de toro ("eggs of the bull", a euphemism for "bull's testicles", referring to the shape and size).

Though India is the largest producer of mangoes in the world, it accounts for less than one percent of the global mango trade.

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.


A ripe mango is sweet, with a unique taste that nevertheless varies from variety to variety. The texture of the flesh varies between cultivars, some having a soft, pulpy texture similar to an over-ripe plum, while others have firmer flesh like a cantaloupe or avocado. In some cultivars, the flesh has a fibrous texture.
A pack of amchur (or dry mango) powder in India.
Mango lassi [mango smoothie] is very popular in Indian restaurants in some countries.

Indian and Pakistani Cuisine

In western recipes of 'Chutney', ripe mangoes are often used, but chutney in the Indian subcontinent is usually made with sour, unripe mangoes and green chili.

In India, ripe mangoes are often cut into thin layers, desiccated, folded, and then cut. These bars, known as aampapdi,' amavat or halva in Hindi, are similar to dried guava fruit bars available in Colombia. In many parts of India, people eat squeezed mango juice (called ras) on a variety of bread. This is part of the meal rather than a dessert. Unripe mangoes (which are extremely sour) are eaten with salt, and in regions where food is hotter, with salt and chili.

In Andhra Pradesh, mangoes are used to made the spicy pickle known as Avakaya Pachhadi.

In Kerala, ripe mangoes are used in a dish called mambazha kaalan.

In Goamarker, miscut (pronounced mis-koot) is a spicy mustard-oil pickle made from raw mangoes. Fhodd is a water-pickle where raw mangoes are preserved in a brine solution (with dried red chillies).

In Maharashtra, moramba (a kind of preserve, made from jaggery and mango) and aamras (pulp/thick juice made of mangoes, with a bit of sugar if needed and milk at times) are famous. A spicy, sweet and sour semi-liquid side-dish called meth-amba is made from unripe mango slices called kairi, jaggery and fenugreek seeds. They can be enjoyed with poories and polies, like jam.

In India, mango is also manufactured as a pickle (aachar), amawat, murraba, amchur, sukhawata & chatni.

During the hot summer months, a cooling summer drink called panha (in Marathi) and panna (across north India) is made with raw mango. Mango lassi is made by adding mango pulp to the North Indian yoghurt drink lassi.

The fruit is also used in a variety of cereal products, in particular muesli and oat granola.

Dried and powdered unripe mango is known as amchur (sometimes spelled amchoor) in India and ambi in Urdu. Amb is a Sindhi, aamba a Marathi, and aam a Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, and Bengali word, "maanga" (unripe) or "maambazham" (ripe) Tamil for 'mango'.

In Tamil Nadu, Salem is famous for Malgova or Salem mangoes. Mango is harvested young and unripe (vadu maangaa) and used for pickles. When harvested big and unripe, they are used for pickles or eaten raw, especially with salt and red chilli powder. Mangoes are also harvested ripe and are typically used in making juices, lassis and are eaten raw as well. It is one of the three prime fruits (mukkani - maa (Mango), palaa (Jackfruit) & vaazhai (Banana)) in Tamil Sangam literature.

In north of Tamil Nadu, Arambakkam located on the Chennai-Kolkatta National highways, There is a variety called jawari or Jawahar Pasand

Interestingly, Mango is consumed both as ripe fruit and as raw fruit (vegetable). In the raw form and in pickle form, the skin of mango is consumed comfortably. whereas in fruits, the skin gets thicker and bitter which is avoided in most parts of Northern India, but the skin has extra ordinary fiber.

Non-Indian cuisine

In Australia, the mango season overlaps Christmas. Mangos are eaten for breakfast during this period and the first box of mangos is auctioned off for charity.

In the Philippinesmarker, unripe mango is eaten with bagoong. Dried strips of sweet, ripe mango (sometimes combined with seedless tamarind to form Mangorind) are also popular, with those from Cebumarker exported worldwide. Mangoes are also used to make juices, mango nectar, and as a flavoring and major ingredient in ice cream and sorbetes. Guimaras produces a delicious mango.

In Mexicomarker, 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 also as a main ingredient in fresh fruit combinations.

Pieces of mango can be mashed and used as a topping on ice cream or blended with milk and ice as milkshakes. In Thailandmarker and other South East Asian countries, sweet glutinous rice is flavored with coconut then served with sliced mango as a dessert.

In other parts of South-east Asia, mangoes are pickled with fish sauce and rice vinegar. Green mangoes can be used in mango salad with fish sauce and dried shrimps.

In Taiwan, mango is a topping that can be added to shaved ice along with condensed milk.

The capsicum (bell pepper) was once known as mango in parts of the United Statesmarker.

In Central America (Guatemalamarker, El Salvadormarker, Hondurasmarker, Nicaraguamarker and Costa Ricamarker), mango is either eaten green with salt, pepper and hot sauce, or ripe in various forms. Only in Costa Rica, ripe mangoes are called manga to differentiate them. In Guatemalamarker, toasted and ground pumpkin seed (called Pepita) with lime and salt are the norm when eating green mangoes. In Colombia mango is also eaten either green with salt and/or lime, or ripe in various forms.

Nutrient and antioxidant properties

Mango is rich in a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients that qualify it as a model "superfruit", a term used to highlight potential health value of certain edible fruits. The fruit is high in prebiotic dietary fiber, vitamin C, polyphenols and provitamin A carotenoids.

Mango contains essential vitamins and dietary minerals. The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E comprise 25%, 76% and 9% of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) in a 165 g serving. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, 11% DRI), vitamin K (9% DRI), other B vitamins and essential nutrients such as potassium, copper and 17 amino acids are at good levels. Mango peel and pulp contain other phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants - carotenoids and polyphenols - and omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Mango peel contains pigments that may have antioxidant properties, 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 xanthone, mangiferin, any of which may counteract free radicals in various disease mechanisms as revealed in preliminary research. Contents of these phytochemicals and nutrients appear to vary across different mango species. Up to 25 different carotenoids have been isolated from mango pulp, the densest content for which was beta-carotene accounting for the yellow-orange pigmentation of most mango species. Peel and leaves also have significant content of polyphenols, including xanthones, mangiferin and gallic acid.

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 cows fed mango leaves; the practice is described as having been outlawed in 1908 due to malnutrition of the cows and possible urushiol poisoning. One author claims these descriptions of the pigment's origin rely on a single anecdotal source and Indian legal records do not mention such a practice being outlawed.

Potential for contact dermatitis

Mango peel contains urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac that can cause urushiol-induced contact dermatitis in susceptible people. Cross-reactions between mango contact allergens and urushiol have been observed. Those with a history of poison ivy or poison oak may be most at risk for an allergic reaction to mango skin. This compound is also present in mango leaves and vines. During mango's primary season, it is the most common source of plant dermatitis in Hawaii.

As a symbol

Mango round about at Rajshahi City, Bangladesh
mango is the national fruit of Indiamarker, Pakistanmarker and the Philippinesmarker.In Hinduism, the perfectly ripe mango is often held by Lord Ganesha as a symbol of attainment, regarding the devotees potential perfection.

Production and consumption

Mangoes account for approximately fifty percent of all tropical fruits produced worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates worldwide production of mangoes at more than 23 million tons in 2001. With 12 million tons produced annually (2002–3 data), India accounts for almost half of the world production, followed by China (3 million tons), Pakistan (2.25 million tons), Mexico (1.5 million tons) and Thailand (1.35 million tons). The aggregate production of 10 countries is responsible for roughly 80% of the entire world mango production.

Alphonso, Benishan or Benishaan (Banganpalli in Telugu and Tamil) and Kesar mango varieties are considered among the best mangoes in the Southern states whereas Dussehri and Langda varieties are most popular in the Northern states of Indiamarker. Commonly exported, the Alphonso cultivar is grown exclusively in the Konkan region of Maharashtramarker. . Alphonso is named after Afonso De Albuquerque who reputedly brought the drupe on his journeys to Goamarker. The locals took to calling this Aphoos in Konkani and in Maharashtra the pronunciation got further corrupted to Hapoos. This variety then was taken to the Konkan region of Maharashtra and other parts of India. Andhra Pradeshmarker and Karnatakamarker states in the south, Gujaratmarker in western India, and Uttar Pradeshmarker and Biharmarker in the north are major producers of mangoes harvested especially to make spicy mango pickles having regional differences in taste. In Pakistanmarker the popular mangoes are the Sindhri and Chaunsa, besides other varieties like Langra, Anwar Ratoal and Malva. The Sindhri mango is primarily produced in the province of Sindh and can measure up to half a foot in length.Generally, once ripe, mangoes have an orange-yellow or reddish peel and are juicy for eating while those intended for export are often picked while under-ripe with green peels. Although producing ethylene while ripening, unripened exported mangoes do not have the same juiciness or flavor as fresh fruit.
A woman selling mangoes in Venezuela.

Native green mangoes from the Philippines.

Mangoes are popular throughout Latin America. In Mexicomarker, sliced mango is eaten with chili powder and/or salt. Street vendors sell whole mangoes on a stick, dipped in the chili-salt mixture. In Indonesiamarker and Thailandmarker, green mango is sold by street vendors with sugar and salt and/or chili, or used in a sour salad called rujak or rojak in Indonesiamarker and Singaporemarker. Ayurveda considers ripe mango sweet and heating, balancing all three doshas , while also providing energy. Powdered raw mango is a condiment in various cuisines.

Like other drupaceous fruits, mangoes come in both freestone and clingstone varieties.

Area harvested of mangoes as of 2007
Country Hectares
India 2 143 000
China 45 000
Thailand 285 000
Indonesia 266 000
Pakistan 2215 000
Mexico 200 000
Philippines 181 000
Nigeria 126 500
Brazil 89 800
Guinea 82 000
Vietnam 52 000
Bangladesh 51 000

Top Ten Mango Producers of 2007
Polity Production in Tonnes Footnote
13501000 F
1719180 F

3752000 F
2050000 F
1800000 F
1620000 F
1546000 F
975000 F
734000 F
370000 F
33445279 A
  • No symbol = official figure
  • P = official figure, F = FAO estimate
  • * = Unofficial/Semi-official/mirror data
  • C = Calculated figure
  • A = Aggregate (may include official, semi-official or estimates)
Food And Agricultural Organization of United Nations: Economic And Social Department: The Statistical Division


Many hundreds of named mango cultivars exist. In mango orchards, several cultivars are often intermixed to improve cross-pollination. Many desired cultivars are mono-embryonic and need to be propagated by grafting methods or else they will not be true-to-type.

A common (mono-embryonic) cultivar is Alphonso known in Asia under its original name, Hapoos (हापुस). This originates from the coastal side of Maharashtramarker especially city named DevGadh in Konkan is considered to be premium producer. As it is extremely popular, even outside the Indian subcontinent, Alphonso is an important export product.

Alphonso cultivated in Sindhmarker province of Pakistanmarker is called Sindhari. It is exported to the Middle East

Other popular cultivars are mentioned in the list (link above).

Cultivars excelling in one climate may fail to achieve elsewhere. For example, Indian cultivars such as Julie, a prolific grower in Jamaica, require annual fungicide treatment to prevent 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 which first fruited in 1940 in southern Florida, USA. Despite being initially rejected commercially by Florida researchers , Tommy Atkins is now a favorite worldwide. For example, 80% of mangoes in UKmarker supermarkets are Tommy Atkins. Despite its fibrous flesh and fair taste, growers worldwide have embraced the cultivar for its exceptional production and disease resistance, the shelf-life of its fruit, their transportability as well as size and appealing color. Tommy Atkins is predominant in the USA as well, although other cultivars, such Kent, Keitt, the Haitian grown Madame Francis and the Mexican grown Champagne are widely available.

In urban areas of southern Florida, small gardens, or lack thereof, have fueled the desire for dwarf mango trees. The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardenmarker has promoted "condo mangoes" which produce at a height below 2–2.5 m.

A list of additional leading cultivars can be found at the cultivar list in the external links below.

There is an Australian variety of mango known as R2E2, a name based on the orchard row location of the original plant. The mango also is cultivated from Jamaica.


The English word mango comes from the Portuguese manga, which is probably derived from the Malayalam മാങ്ങ (māṅṅa) (pronounced "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.Oxford English Dictionary mango, n.1 (and adj.). Retrieved 2009-06-22.

See also


Image:Mango in full bloom.jpg|Mature Mangifera Indica after annual flowering - Note the budding fruits and residual flowers, Kolkatamarker, West Bengalmarker, Indiamarker.Image:Close up of immature mango fruit.jpg|Immature fruit of Mangifera approximately six weeks after annual flowering, Kolkatamarker, West Bengalmarker, Indiamarker.Image:Mango flower.jpg|Mango flowers.


  1. Allen J. Mango mania in Portland, Oregon, New York Times, May 10, 2006
  2. Black R. Plump it up. Sweet, juicy mangoes are at their peak, with seasonal varieties ripe for the picking, New York Daily News, May 13, 2007
  3. Mango: botany and taxonomy, HorticultureWorld
  4. Ensminger 1994: 1373
  5. Jedele S, Hau AM, von Oppen M. An analysis of the world market for mangoes and its importance for developing countries. Conference on International Agricultural Research for Development, 2003[1]
  6. India world's largest producer of mangoes, Rediff India Abroad, April 21, 2004
  7. Mad About mangoes: As exports to the U.S. resume, a juicy business opportunity ripens, India Knowledge@Wharton Network, June 14, 2007
  8. USAID helps Indian mango farmers access new markets, USAID-India, May 3, 2006
  9. Merriam-Webster Dictionary Definition.
  10. Nutrient profile for mango,
  11. History of Indian yellow, Pigments Through the Ages

Further reading

External links

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