African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 6 (21), pp. 2477-2483, 5 November, 2007
Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJB
ISSN 1684–5315 © 2007 Academic Journals
Ful Length Research Paper
Physical and chemical characteristics of off vine
ripened mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruit (Dodo)
Mamiro Peter*, Fweja Leonard, Chove Bernard, Kinabo Joyce, George Victor, Mtebe Kaswija
Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3006, Morogoro, Tanzania.
Accepted 5 May, 2006
The need to develop the best off vine mango ripening technique for both consumption and processing
was investigated. Some physical and chemical measurements were performed on mature Green Dodo
mangoes before and during a 3-day and 6-day ripening period by smoked pit ripening (SPR), ethylene
(fruit generated) pit ripening (EPR), untreated pit ripening (UPR) and room temperature ripening (RTR)
as a control method. The post harvest ripening changes in the quality characteristic of ripe mangoes
were correlated among treatments and compared with similar changes in other mango varieties.
Changes such as formation of sugars, decreased acidity, and increased carotene reflected the most
significant chemical changes in ripeness stage.
Key words: Dodo, ethylene, off-vine, nutrients, ripening, smoking.
Mango is one of the important fruit in the tropical and
1993; Sagar and Khurdiya, 1996) has been the provision
subtropical regions. It is a good source of nutrients,
of fresh produce out of the harvest season by
particularly vitamins A and C and dietary fibre (Pal,
improvement in storage techniques. However, consumer
1998). Flavour, volatiles, texture, chemical constituents
demand is likely to include better preservation methods
and appearance of flesh colour are the key components
as wel as improved quality through improving the
that contribute to a high quality fresh mango and in the
ripening techniques for both local and export market. In
acceptance of the fruit by the consumer. The observation
an attempt to develop better means of ripening mangoes,
made by Lodh and Pentastico (1975) shows that palata-
evaluation of the efficacy of the traditional pit smoking
bility and taste of fruits are closely associated with the
method against other post harvest fruit ripening pro-
amount and type of chemical constituents and the
cesses including the use of natural ethylene deserves
physical nature of the product at harvest. Nevertheless,
attention. In this study the effect of ripening mangoes
post harvest manipulations have been found to affect the
using untreated pit ripening method, pit method equipped
metabolic transformation of chemical compounds already
with freshly ripened bananas for natural ethylene produc-
present. Off vine ripening, particularly pit smoking has
tion and room temperature ripening were evaluated
been reported by consumers to impair favour quality
against the traditional smoked pit ripening method with
which is critical to consumer acceptability of mangoes.
the main objective of comparing and assessing their
Studies on these parameters that define quality in mango
effects on the quality with regard to physical and
have been reported in literatures (Aina, 1990; Doreyappa
chemical characteristics of ripe mango pulp.
et al., 1994). However, only a description of chemical and
physical changes occurring in relation to quality of normal
ripening that was enhanced by synthetic chemicals is
MATERIALS AND METHODS
provided (Pal, 1998). In addition, the focus of other
studies that have so far been undertaken (Mir and Nath,
Procurement and sampling of fruits
Ful y mature ripe mango fruits of the local Tanzanian cv Dodo was
obtained from Milengwelengwe vil age in Morogoro rural district,
Tanzania. The fruits were plucked directly from the same tree and
*Corresponding author. E-mail: Petermamiro@suanet.ac.tz.
studied during the 2001/02 fruiting season. The sorting of the fruits
2478 Afr. J. Biotechnol.
were such that only undamaged fruits having uniform size and free
from visible symptoms of infection were selected for the study. On
% Ripening = x 100
arrival the fruits were cleaned with pre-boiled water to remove dirt
and latex. A total of 240 fruits were selected and randomly grouped
into four groups of 60 mangoes each. The fruits were further
randomly subdivided into subgroups of 20 fruits. The 20 fruits in
each subgroup formed replicates in each of the four groups. One
% Spoiled = x 100
group was kept as a control, that is, room temperature ripening (25
– 30ºC)-RTR whilst the remaining 3 groups were subjected to the
fol owing treatments (i) smoked pit ripening-SPR, (i ) untreated pit
ripening-UPR and (i i) ethylene (fruit generated) pit ripening-EPR.
% Physiological loss in weight = W1 - W2 x 100
Preparation of ripening pits and the ripening process
% Pulp recovery = Mean weight of recovered pulp x 100
Al the three pits were dug with same measurements i.e. 45 cm
Mean weight of whole fruit
width, 60 cm length and 45 cm depth. Hardboard lids measuring 47
cm width and 62 cm length each were made to securely cover each
Weight losses, that is, shrinkage during ripening as affected by the
pit. For the SPR method, the pits were warmed before use by
test ripening techniques were calculated from al the tree replicates
burning half a bucket of dry mango leaves at the bottom of each pit
and the mean values were expressed as percentage. Five fruits
as traditional y done. Clean banana leaves were then spread on the
were marked with a marker pen and weighed before and after
pit floor as beddings. Mango fruits were placed on top of the
ripening. The initial weight (W
banana leaves and again covered with the same leaves. Smoke
1) of the unripe fruits and the final
was introduced in the pits for about 5 min by burning the same
2) of the ripe fruit were noted. With regard to pulp
recovery, mangoes were thoroughly washed in running tape water
amount of dry mango leaves as before and directing the smoke into
and cleansed with distil ed water. After washing the fruit samples
the pits by a chimney like devise. The lids were then replaced
were hand peeled and pulp was completely removed from the peels
immediately adding a lump of soil on top of the lid. With the EPR
and the stone. The finely sliced mango pulp was blended in a
method, bananas leaves for natural ethylene generation were
blender (Cryodon, England) and passed through a 50 micron
spread at the bottom of the pit as previous and mangoes were
stainless sieve to remove fibre. The weights of different fruits
mixed with seven bananas in their initial ripening stage. The fruits
components and yield of the final pulp were noted and data
were covered with banana leaves, lid replaced and soil covered on
expressed in percent.
top. In the UPR method the procedure fol owed was as done in
EPR except no bananas were added. For the control method, fruits
were kept at ambient condition in bamboo woven baskets lined with
clean dry banana leaves at the bottom and covered with the same
material. Fruits were assessed at three-day interval in three phases
designated as D0 corresponding to time before ripening storage, D3
The total soluble solids were determined by a hand held
during ripening and D
refractometer (0 – 80?, Portable refractometer, 300003 Sper Scien-
6 at the end of the ripening period. For D0, D3
tific, China) according to AOAC method 932.12 (AOAC, 1995). The
6 samples of mango fruit were evaluated for physical and
samples were analysed for moisture content (air oven), protein
(Kjeldahl), titratable acidity, lipids, reducing sugars and minerals
according to AOAC methods 925.10, 920.87, 922.28, 922.06,
Preparation of samples for analytical assays
939.03 and 970.12, respectively (AOAC, 1995). The crude fibre
was determined by fibretec system fol owing AOAC method (AOAC,
Composite samples of ripe fruits from each treatment at each
1990). Ascorbic acid was determined by titration against 2,6-
analytical stage were prepared for analyses. Fifteen fruits taken
dichlorophenol indophenol fol owing AOAC method 967.21 (AOAC,
from each lot (five mangoes per replication) were washed in
1995). -carotene was determined using acetone-petroleum ether
preboiled water and then cleansed with distil ed water. The fruits
(40-60?C) in the ratio of 1:3 as a solvent, by the method described
were hand peeled and the edible portion separated from peels and
by Mungi (1983). The method involved extraction and pigment
stones by using a stainless steel knife. The mango homogenate
separation. The absorbencies were determined with spectrophoto-
was distributed among glass containers, which were immediately
meter at 450 nm after proper calibration of the instrument with
capped and stored at –10?C until use for analysis.
standard solution of pure -carotene (Sigma chemical Co., St Louis,
Mo.). The pH values for the samples were measured using a pH
meter model HM-7E. Tannin content was determined using the
Ripening, spoilage, physiological loss in weight and pulp
vanil in hydrochloric method as described by Gomez et al. (1997).
The minerals were analysed using an atomic absorption spec-
trophotometry in a Shimadzu Atomic Absorption / Flame Emission
The ripening, spoilage, physiological loss in weight (PLW) and pulp
recovery percentages were measured, basing on the methods
described by Pal (1998) and Doreyappa et al. (1994) and computed
as per the formulae below. Observation of visual colour changes
was employed by judging the percentage ripening and actual per-
centages of ripe fruits were calculated per replicate and the mean
Al analyses were conducted in triplicate and standard deviation
values per three replicates in each lot were expressed as percent-
reported. Descriptive statistics, multivariate analysis and Duncan
tage. Data on spoilage were recorded on day three and day six
multiple range test was done for sensory descriptors, physical,
during ripening expressed as percentage based on the appearance
chemical parameters and microbial counts with a significance level
of visible symptoms of spoilage and unmarketable shrinkage.
of P< 0.05.
Mamiro et al. 2479
Table 1. Effect of ripening treatments on physico-chemical parameters of mango pulp.
Fruit ripening (%)
Pulp yield (%)
Mean values with different letters across rows are significantly different at 5% level.
Table 2. Effect of ripening treatments on proximate composition of mango pulp.
Crude fat (%)
Crude fibre (%)
Carbohydrate % 15.56a
Mean values with different letters across rows are significantly different at 5% level.
Assessment of physical parameters
The ripening trends on proximate chemical composition
observed in mango cv. Dodo are presented in Table 2.
Results for the physical parameters of ripening, spoilage,
Ripening treatments had no significant effect (P > 0.05)
PLW and pulp yield are presented in Table 1. Significant
on these parameters. Crude fibre showed a very slight
variations (P 0.05) in al these physical parameters were
but significant change during ripening. Ash and moisture
observed among treatments. The SPR was found to be
content did not show any significant changes during
the most effective method in initiating and accelerating
ripening, hence in total mineral content. Similarly, no
the ripening process amongst al the methods fol owed by
consistent and appreciable changes were observed in
EPR while the least was RTR method. Equal y, there
crude fat, carbohydrate and protein content.
was a higher spoilage of mango fruits in the SPR method
fol owed by EPR in the sixth day while there was no
spoilage observed in the RTR method. However in the
Other chemical parameters
third day, there was no observed significant difference in
spoilage in al treatments. Pulp yield showed slight but
Results for other chemical parameters are presented in
significant difference, EPR method showing a higher yield
Table 3. Except for TTA and reducing sugars no signi-
compared to other treatments. Equal y, physiological loss
ficant variations were observed among treatments with
in weight was slight but significantly different with higher
respect to the other chemical parameters. While reducing
loss observed in SPR and EPR methods.
sugars, TSS and -carotene contents and pH values
2480 Afr. J. Biotechnol.
Table 3. Effect of ripening treatments on other chemical parameters of mango pulp.
Ascorbic acid (mg/100g)
Reducing sugars (%)
Mean values with different superscript letters across rows are significantly different at 5% level.
Table 4. Effect of ripening treatments on mineral content of mango pulp.
Mean values with different letters across rows are significantly different at 5% level.
showed an increasing trend, ascorbic acid, tannin and
TTA showed a decreased trend as ripening progressed.
A considerable decrease in the acidity of mango was
observed during ripening with a pH shift from 2.31 to 4.64
indicating that the fruit is mildly acidic like most other
The effectiveness of the SPR method could be attributed
to earlier achievement of the minimum ethylene con-
centration required in initiating the ripening process in
mangoes (Singh, 1968), due to smoking and higher heat
The results for mineral composition of mango pulp are
of respiration Narasimham et al. (1971) experienced in
presented in Table 4. Though slight changes in mineral
the smoked than the unsmoked fruits. Equal y, the higher
levels were observed on ripening, no significant varia-
ripening rate in pit ripened fruits than the control fruits
tions (P > 0.05) were seen in mineral levels among
would suggest that the volatile accelerators of ripening
Mamiro et al. 2481
tend to accumulate under conditions of restricted ven-
of ripeness. Simmonds (1959) reported a final rise in
tilation, as was the case with the pits. This could as wel
water loss at the climacteric phase as the fruit ripens, the
be attributed to higher ethylene levels in soil than in air
change that is related to degenerative changes of the
(Abeles et al., 1992), and use of ripening inducers such
skin. This observation corresponds with the results of the
as ripe bananas and smoke. Similarly, temperature
present study. Moisture content underwent slight but
influences on ethylene due to self-heat generation as a
insignificant reduction during ripening, a change that has
result of respiration and lack of ventilation may induce
been explained in terms of a maximum rise in water loss
higher ripening rate in pit-ripened fruits (Adel, 1993;
in the senescence stage due to degenerative changes of
Mathooko, 2000). The respiratory activity in fruit and the
the skin (Simmonds, 1959), resulting from both respira-
rate of production as wel as action of ethylene, the
tion and transpiration sources (Aina, 1990).
ripening hormone are temperature dependent.
Crude fibre showed a very slight change during ripening
Despite advantageous higher rate of ripening pit-
that could be attributable to a decrease in insoluble pectin
ripening method, higher fruit spoilage was observed in
associated with an increase in soluble pectin in the
the same pits. The higher spoilages in pit-ripened man-
course of ripening (Mathooko, 2000). Crude fat and crude
goes were probably due to higher ripening rates, stacking
protein contents showed a slight increase as ripening
together, lack of ventilation and increased temperature
progressed. The observed slight increase in fat concen-
through self- heat generation. Excessive heat often leads
tration agrees with the general observation that a link
to the presence of water on the surface of products thus
exists between lipid content, colour and flavour develop-
creating a favourable environment for moulds and
ment of the mango during ripening (Gomez-Lim, 1997). A
bacteria to grow, thus causing decay (Harris, 1988). The
slow change in fat content on extended storage could be
highest spoilage in the SPR mangoes was probably
due to decreased citrate level, which is believed to be the
further aggravated by exposure to artificial heat sources
immediate source of acetyl coenzyme A required for
causing a relatively higher temperature rise in smoked
biosynthesis of fatty acid and triglyceride (Gomez-Lim,
mangoes than the un-smoked mangoes (Narasimham et
al., 1971). Previous study (Singh, 1986), reported that a 9
An increase in protein content observed during ripening
- 10ºC rise in temperature of the fruit in the stacked state
is in agreement with the findings made in several fruits by
wil cause spoilage if the temperature is more than 35ºC,
Gomez-Lim (1997). Tressel et al. (1975) also reported an
an observation that is similar to the results of the present
increase in the amounts of some proteins and enzymes.
study. Higher ethylene levels have also been reported to
Mathooko (2000) described a dramatic increase in
stimulate the germination of fungi spores in the soil and
protein, reflecting the enzyme required for ripening. The
on the surface of the fruits as it is readily metabolised by
proximate compositions of (Mangifera indica L. cv Dodo)
many soil organisms (Clendennnen, 1997). However,
were within reported limits (Singh, 1968; Doreyappa et
data presented in Table 1 reveal that spoilage does not
al., 1994; Morton, 1987).
solely depend on the microbial population alone, but is
A three to four fold decrease in TTA from harvest
also governed by other factors such as the mechanical
maturity to ripened stage was observed. The variations
integrity of the exocarp whose permeability is influenced
due to treatment were not significant (P > 0.05) among
by the degree of ripeness. Apart from the preservative
the pit methods; however, the difference was significant
potentiality of smoke (Venugopal, 1995), the SPR
(P < 0.05) between the pit-ripened samples and the
mangoes had the highest spoilage possibly due to the
control samples. But no significant variations among
interactive effect of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
treatments were observed in pH values. The variation in
Similarly, significant (P 0.05) variations in pulp yield
the results of TTA against records of pH could be
among treatments could be attributed to the degree of
ascribed on human limitation in colour judgment of the
firmness of the fruit, which has a positive correlation to
exact end point during titration. The decrease in ascorbic
the degree of ripeness and hence softness of the
acid could be attributed to its susceptibility to oxidative
pericarp. Softness is aggravated by textural loss caused
destruction (Aina, 1990), as impacted by the ripening
by enzymatic hydrolysis of cel ular components during
environments. The less effective ripening method tended
ripening and over storage time (Kajuna et al., 1997).
to maintain the highest amount of ascorbic acid and vice
The physiological loss in weight is linked to the fact that
versa. The increase in -carotene content has been
the mango skin bears stomata and transpiration conti-
reportedly due to increase in levels of carotene, free
nues after the fruit has been harvested. The considerable
geraniol and free mevalonic acid, the precursor in caro-
variation among treatments could be attributed to
tene biosynthesis (Mattoo et al., 1975; Modi and Reddy,
differences in temperature, relative humidity (Simmonds,
1959), atmospheric composition (Adel, 1993), and the
Reduction in tannin contents is linked to their role as
degree of ripeness. An increase in temperature increases
flavour contributors (Aina, 1990; Lodh and Pentastico,
the loss of the water, which means a loss in weight of the
1975). This is associated with an increase in extractable
produce (Harris, 1988). The results show a positive corre-
flavolans resulting from polymerisation of tannins and
lation between moisture, cel permeability and the degree
other polyphenolic compounds. Arogba (1997) also re-
2482 Afr. J. Biotechnol.
ported complexing of tannins with minerals and proteins.
koine University of Agriculture.
Thus, the decrease in tannin content as the fruit ripens
could be due to a slight increase in macromolecules such
as protein. This is evidenced by the results of the present
study, which show an increase in protein content.
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