How to preserve mangoes

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how to preserve mangoes” and discuss the different methods used to preserve mangoes.

How to preserve mangoes

The worldwide mango production increased approximately 45% between 2007 and 2017. In 2017, 50.65 million metric tons were produced, corresponding closely with the average observed increase in mango consumption in Europe (i.e. 42% from 2007 to 2017 (1).

Mangoes can be preserved by:

  • Refrigerating
  • Freezing as pulp or slices
  • Dehydrating
  • Canning
  • Pickling

Mangoes will keep well at room temperature for about a week. Unripe mangoes must be kept at room temperature until they are ripe. Storing unripe mangoes inside a paper bag will speed up the ripening process, thus will retain ethylene, which is the plant hormone that induces ripening of fruits. Transportation and storage of the unripe fruits is performed at temperatures of 10–15 °C, and the fruits must be subjected to postharvest ripening procedures at their final destinations (1). The storage temperature for unripe mangoes must be about 18 to 22 °C for about 3 days.

How to preserve mangoes by refrigerating

Ripe mangoes can be preserved by refrigeration. Ripe mangoes will hold up well in the refrigerator for about 3 days (3)a week. It is better to wash and wipe whole mangoes before storing them in the refrigerator.

Ripe, cut mangoes can also be refrigerated for a few days, They must be placed in an airtight container and consumed as soon as possible for the best flavour and texture.  Fresh cut fruits have a shorter shelf life compared to whole fruits due to a number of factors. They are highly susceptible to microbial contamination and spoilage, require specific storage conditions and undergo gradual changes in quality.  Storage at 5ºC can maintain the quality of mango cubes and extend the shelf-life between 4 to 6 days (4).

How to preserve mangoes by freezing

Freezing is recognized as one of the main processes employed for the long-term preservation and storage of fruit products. Freezing temperatures crystallize water, which accounts for approximately 85–90% of the fruit, thereby reducing water activity (aw), biochemical changes, and microbial growth (2). 

Mangoes can be preserved by freezing as slices or as pulp. Frozen mango slices can be used in desserts and frozen mango pulp can be used in drinks such as smoothies.

Studies described a reduction of β-carotene content after 120 days of frozen storage of the slices at −18 °C in four varieties of mango. Changes in color were observed in frozen mangoes after 14 months (2).

To preserve mango slices by freezing :

  • Select ripe but firm mangoes with no bruises.
  • Wash and wipe the mangoes.
  • Peel the mangoes and dice them into small cubes.
  • Place the cubes on a clean tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure that the pieces don’t touch each other.
  • Place the tray in the freezer until the mango pieces are completely frozen.
  • After the mango cubes are frozen, transfer them into ziplock bags.
  • Squeeze out all the air and label the bags.
  • Label and freeze the bags.

To preserve mango pulp by freezing:

  • Wash, wipe and peel the mangoes.
  • Cut off the flesh and make it into a pulp using a blender.
  • Transfer into ziplock bags.
  • Squeeze out all the air and label the bags.
  • Label and freeze the bags.

How to preserve mangoes by dehydration

Convective air drying process is one of the oldest ways to conserve food, which gives bigger shelf life, low packing costs and low cost of transportation. This process consists of reducing the moisture content of a sample and it is carried out by means of hot air with low humidity content. The reduction of the moisture content causes the reduction of the mass, the volume, the fungus growth and the enzymatic and microbial activity (5).

Ripe mangoes can be preserved by dehydration. Dehydration removes the moisture from the mangoes which reduce the growth of microbes and increases the preservation time. 

Using a food dehydrator is the best method to dehydrate mangoes. However, mangoes can also be dehydrated in an oven. In this article, we will look at how to dehydrate mangoes in an oven.

To dehydrate mangoes in an oven:

  • Wash, wipe and peel the mangoes.
  • Slice the mangoes into thin pieces. Thinner the slices, the lower the time for dehydration.
  • Place parchment paper on the oven tray.
  • Place the mango slices on the parchment paper with space between the slices.
  • Set the oven temperature to the lowest possible setting to not burn the mangoes.
  • Flip the mango slice once every 30 – 60 minutes. This will prevent one side from getting burnt.
  • Continue dehydration until the pieces are completely dry and rubbery.
  • The average dehydration time is around 4 hours.
  • After dehydration, place the mangoes outside the oven until they cool down.
  • Transfer the dehydrated mango slices into a clean airtight container.
  • Seal and label the container and place it in a cool, dark place.

To dehydrate the mangoes using a food dehydrator, slice the mangoes as in the oven dehydration method and then follow the instructions in the dehydrator manual.

Dehydrated mangoes can be used as a healthy snack on their own or added to breakfast cereals and trail mix.

How to preserve mangoes by canning

Canning is one of the best processing techniques that preserve the natural sensory attributes as preserved in liquid medium, the canned fruit products are in higher consumer perception compared to the dehydrated products. The research studies reported in canning of fruits in the past few decades were mostly focused on optimization of process conditions, shelf life determination, and microbiological safety (6).

Canning preserves ripe mangoes for a long period. Canning is done by submerging ripe mangoes in a syrup made from water, lemon juice and sugar. The canned mangoes are heated in a water bath, labelled and stored in a cool, dark place.

The ingredient quantities and complete method can be found here.

How to preserve mangoes by pickling

Pickles are prepared all the way through the natural fermentation of fruits and vegetables. Pickles are known to possess advantageous nutritional significance and also perform as a food accompaniment. The systematic process of pickle preparation involves fermentation of the pieces which is a primal preservation technique principally used to facilitate the long-term storage of foods. Fermentation is basically a measured decomposition of organic substances induced by beneficial microorganisms that fundamentally convert carbohydrates to alcohols or organic acids (7).

Raw mangoes can be preserved by pickling with the addition of spices and oils. A detailed recipe for pickling mangoes can be found here.

Shelf-life of preserved mangoes

The shelf-life depends on the preservation method.

  • Room temperature storage: 1 week.
  • Refrigeration: Several days, depending on the ripeness and quality of the mangoes.
  • Freezing: Freezing mangoes will retain their natural flavour and texture for up to a year. It is important to look out for any discolouration in the frozen mangoes.
  • Dehydration: Dehydrated mangoes will last for 6 months to 1 year when kept in a cool, dark place at room temperature. If refrigerated, dehydrated mangoes will last for 1 to 2 years.
  • Canning: When properly prepared and stored in a cool, dark place, canned mangoes last for 1 to 2 years
  • Pickling: Pickled mangoes can be stored for up to a year. The exact preservation time depends on the method used (8).

Other FAQs about Mango that you may be interested in.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mangoes?

Can you eat green mango?

Can you eat mango seeds?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve mangoes” and discussed the different methods used to preserve mangoes.

If you have any comments, please let us know.

References

  1. Lehner, Thomas B., and Barbara Siegmund. The impact of ventilation during postharvest ripening on the development of flavor compounds and sensory quality of mangoes (Mangifera indica L.) cv. Kent. Food Chem, 2020, 320: 126608.
  2. Bonat Celli, Giovana, Amyl Ghanem, and Marianne Su-Ling Brooks. Influence of freezing process and frozen storage on the quality of fruits and fruit products. Food Rev Int, 2016, 32, 280-304.
  3. Bender, Renar João, Jeffrey Karl Brecht, and Elizabeth Amory Baldwin. Aroma of mature-green and tree-ripe mangoes after refrigerated air or controlled atmosphere storage. Ciência Rural, 2021, 52.
  4. Gasu, Emmanuel K., et al. Effects of irradiation and chemical preservatives on the microbiological quality of refrigerated fresh-cut mangoes. Eur. J. Food Res. Rev, 2012, 2, 101-110.
  5. Villa-Corrales, L., et al. Numerical and experimental analysis of heat and moisture transfer during drying of Ataulfo mango. J food eng, 2010, 98, 198-206.
  6. Arampath, Palitha C., and Matthijs Dekker. Thermal effect, diffusion, and leaching of health-promoting phytochemicals in commercial canning process of mango (Mangifera indica L.) and pineapple (Ananas comosus L.). Foods, 2020, 10, 46. 
  7. Mani, Arghya, and Prodyut Paul. Effect of sodium substitution on sensory and quality parameters in mango pickle. Int Res J Pure Appl Chem, 2020, 21, 45-55.
  8. Bastin, Sandra, and Debbie Clouthier. Home Canning Pickled and Fermented Foods. 2015. University of Kentucky.