Some varieties will keep much longer after picking than others. William Burns,1 in his article on the Pairi mango, says that Alphonse can be kept two months, if properly stored. Pairi, on the other hand, will only remain in good condition for eight days. C. F. Kinman points out that the Indian mangos have proved to be much better keepers in Porto Rico than the native seedlings. The flavor and keeping quality of a fruit depend, of course, largely on the degree of maturity at which it is picked. For local use the fruit, with the exception of Sandersha, should be allowed to color fully and to soften slightly on the tree, while for shipping to market it must be picked before it is fully colored. Some varieties, such as Amini, develop an objectionable flavor if left on the tree until fully ripe.
1 Agricultural Journal of India, p. 27, 1911.
From Florida the Indian varieties have been shipped successfully to northern markets (Fig. 14). The fruit is picked when it has begun to acquire color, but before it has softened in the slightest degree. It is then wrapped in tissue-paper of the kind used in shipping citrus fruits, and is packed in tomato baskets. Mangos of moderate size, such as Mulgoba, will pack twelve to a basket. A small amount of excelsior is used above and below them. Six of these baskets are placed in a crate for shipment. Sometimes tomato baskets are dispensed with and the fruit is packed in a crate with a partition in the center, using an abundance of excelsior between each tier or layer.
Numerous storage tests have been made at the Porto Rico Agricultural Experiment Station (Bull. 24). Mangos of different varieties were placed in (a) warm storage at 80 to 83° F., and (6) cold storage at 40 to 47° F. Some of the results were as follows:
Fig. 14. Florida-grown mangos packed for shipment.
Amini. - Fruits which were ready for eating when taken from the tree remained in the warm room in good condition about four days. Fruits which were well colored but had not softened on the tree began to decay in seven to ten days. All of these fruits developed attractive color in storage. In the cool room fruits which were ready for eating when removed from the tree remained in good condition eleven to eighteen days. Those which were mature when taken from the tree, but which had not commenced to soften, were ready for eating twenty days after being put in storage, and did not show signs of decay until six days later.
Cambodiana. - Fruits which had fallen from the tree due to ripeness remained in the warm room five days in good condition. Those which were picked when soft on one side remained six to eight days without decaying perceptibly. Those picked when about half colored remained in good condition eight days only. Fruits ripened on the tree and placed in the cool room kept only five or six days. Those which had colored on the tree but had not begun to soften were ripe nineteen days after being placed in the cool room, and remained in good condition until the twenty-sixth day; they were not so good, however, as those ripened on the tree.
Sandersha. - Fruits picked just before they began to soften and placed in the warm room were ready for eating nine days later, and remained in good condition three days. Fruits picked similarly mature and placed in the cool room remained in good condition for nearly five weeks, at the end of which time the flavor was better than that of tree-ripened specimens.
"Fancy" mangos have been shipped successfully from India to London, from Jamaica to London, and from the French West Indies to Paris. When care is used in packing and picking the fruit, the loss in transit is not heavy. The selection of varieties having unusually good shipping qualities will do more than anything else to encourage export trade of this sort. When the fruit has only to be shipped from Florida to New York, keeping quality is not so important. Some mangos which have been placed on the market have made an unfavorable impression because they were improperly ripened. More attention must be given to methods of ripening in the future, so that the fruit may reach the consumer in full possession of its delightful flavor and aroma.