Mango is one of the popular fruits in the world due to its attractive color, delicious taste and excellent nutritional properties. Known for its sweet fragrance and flavor, the mango has delighted the senses for more than 4000 years. A celebrated fruit, mango, now produced in most of the tropical parts of the globe.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Introduction to Mango

The mango is believed to have been discovered as long as five to six thousand years in eastern India, Thailand, Myanmar, the Andaman Islands or Malaysia.

Mango is the national fruit of India, where it is known as the 'King of Fruits'. Not only is it one of the most highly prized fruits of South Asia, it is also intimately connected with folklore and legends across many religions.

Mango trees can grow up to 40 m high and are topped with a rounded canopy of foliage. They may live for more than 100 years.

In plantations they are usually grafted onto the roots of smaller trees so that they can't grow as tall.

There are hundreds of mango cultivars distributed throughout the world, of which Asia and India have over 500 and perhaps even 1000. Leaves - long and leathery.

The mango fruit is a large, fleshy drupe, containing an edible mesocarp of varying thickness.

The mesocarp is resinous and highly variable with respect to shape, size, color, presence of fiber and flavour.

They have fibres which 'crackle' when they are crushed. They contain a chemical called mangiferin, or 'Indian Yellow' which was used as a dye.

Flowers - both male and female and are beautifully fragrant. Mango flowers are borne on terminal pyramidal panicles and are glabrous or pubescent; the inflorescene is rigid and erect, up to 30 cm long and is widely branched, usually tertiary, although the final branch is always cymose.

Fruits - the skin may be green, yellow, or red. The fruits have a small point, known as the beak. It is cultivated for its edible orange-colored flesh. The seed within is large and flattened.

No matter its coloring or variety, a ripe, medium size mango provides carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins A, B1, B6 and C, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium, pantothenic acid, and niacin.
Introduction to Mango

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