The mango (Mangifera indica) has been grown in India for
more than 4000 years and is one of the oldest and most important
fruits to be cultivated. It is believed to have originated in
tropical to sub-tropical monsoon areas in the foothills of the
Himalayas, between India and Burma.
During the reign of the Mughal Emporer, Akbar the Great
(1500's), 200 varieties were developed around the city of Amroha.
Prior to this they were introduced to Africa (1330's) and it has
been claimed that they were introduced into Jamaica in the 1700's
following the capture of a French ship at sea by Lord Rodney.
There are 41 species of Mangifera with 17 of them
bearing edible fruit.
In Jamaica, the varieties often have local names and altogether
we find "black-greengage, black-sweetie", "stringy", beef,
Bombay, East Indian, Haden, kidney, lady finger, Number 11,
Parry, "pint o' water", Robin, St Julian ("Julie"), Tommy Atkins,
The principal sugars in Haden have been identified as fructose
(20.6%), glucose (5.3%) and sucrose (74.1%) and the total sugar
content in a range of mangoes is roughly 5-12 g/100 g. Water
makes up around 80 g / 100 g.
In ripe Alphonso mangoes, the organic acids, citric (61%), malic
(24%), succinic (10%) and uronic (5%) were identified. The total
acidity found for a range of mangoes was 0.3 - 0.5 g/ 100 g based
on citric acid.
The yellow-orange characteristic colour of mangoes have been
studied in detail and is due to the presence of carotenoids.
A recent paper found that for the cultivar Keitt,
and 9-cis-violaxanthin are the principal carotenoids
present accounting for 38, 27 and 18% of the total. The earlier
claims for beta-carotene being more prevalent than violaxanthin
were discounted as being due to the methods used in
The red blush of the Haden mango is claimed to be due to the
A 1985 study of Alphonso mangoes using GC/MS identified 152
volatile compounds. The essences composed about 57 mg/ kg of
fruit pulp and included Z-ocimene (44 mg/kg) and 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3(2H)-furanone
Other compounds considered to have mango character are
car-3-ene, alpha-copaene and ethyl dodecanoate.
The structure of car-3-ene.
"Tropical Fruit Processing", Edited by J. Jagtiani, H.T. Chan,
Jr. and W.S. Sakai Food Science and Technology, A series of
monographs, 1988, Academic Press, Inc., 1250 Sixth Avenue, San
Diego, California, 92101.
"Food Flavourings", Edited by P.R. Ashurst, Blackie Academic
& Professional, an imprint of Chapman & Hall, Wester
Cleddens Road, Bishopbriggs, Glascow, G64 2NZ, UK. 2nd edit.
"HPLC and MS analysis of carotenoids from Mango", A.Z.
Mercadante, D.B. Rodriquez-Amaya and G Britton, J. Agric. Food
Chem., 1997, 45, 12-123.
See an exerpt from: "Fruits of warm climates- Mango" Morton,
Julia F. 1987. p. 221- 239., Miami, FL. at Mango
information at Purdue
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Lancashire, all rights reserved.
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The Department of Chemistry, University of the West Indies,
Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica.
Created May 1997. Links checked and/or last
modified 8th August 2014.