Comparison of the Postharvest Characteristics of Mango Fruits Produced under Contrasting Agro-Ecological Conditions and Harvested at Different Maturity Stages

  •  Jane Ambuko    
  •  Nancy Kemunto    
  •  Margaret Hutchinson    
  •  Willis Owino    


Mango (Mangifera indica) fruit production in Kenya occurs under diverse agro-ecological zones (AEZs). The different AEZs have variations in rainfall, sunlight, temperature, soils and cultural practices all of which affect fruit physiology and quality at harvest. Maturity stage at harvest also affects mango fruit quality and storage potential. In the present study, the effect of AEZs and fruit maturity stage on the postharvest shelf-life of mango variety apple was determined. The study was conducted over two seasons in 2011 and 2013 and the fruits were harvested from two different AEZs: Embu (high potential zone) and Makueni (low potential zone). The fruits were also harvested at two maturity stages based on flesh color. The fruits were selected for uniformity and allowed to ripen at ambient room conditions (Temperature; 25±1 oC and RH 60±5%) until a predetermined end stage. Five fruits were randomly sampled from each batch for determination of respiration, cumulative weight loss, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, ascorbic acid and mineral nutrients (potassium and magnesium). The results showed that ‘apple’ mango fruit quality was significantly affected by production location, maturity stage and the interaction between the two factors. Fruits harvested from Makueni and fruits harvested at early maturity stage (S1) had a longer shelf life (3 days more). Makueni fruits had significantly (p < 0.05) lower respiration rates accompanied with minimal weight loss. In addition, total soluble solids (TSS), ascorbic acid and mineral (magnesium) were significantly (p < 0.05) high in Makueni fruits while fruits from Embu were significantly (p < 0.05) high in total titratable acidity and potassium content. This study confirms profound variability in fruit quality as affected by the production location and harvest maturity.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.