If you’ve ever been to India or Southeast Asia, you might have noticed grocery stores and fruit stands filled to the brim with a particular type of fruit: mango. Indeed, the mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and the mango tree (Mangifera indica L.) is the national tree of Bangladesh. These sweet and colorful fruits have been cultivated for thousands of years because of their delicious flavor and impressive health benefits. The good news is that these exotic, tropical fruits are also readily available right here in the United States.
With around 55 million metric tons produced each year, mangoes are a type of stone fruit that are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Though they originated in Southeast Asia, they are now grown in tropical and subtropical parts of South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. There are hundreds of different types of mangoes, and most are able to be produced all year round. This has also made the mango valuable in commercial settings as an ingredient in juice concentrates and other fruit products.
The mango trees themselves are impressive as well, with evergreen leaves that start out orange or red before maturing to a deep green color; they can also live to be up to several hundred years old. It typically takes about four to five months for a mango fruit to grow and ripen on the tree, and the resulting fruit can be either yellow, red, orange, or green. Depending on the variety, ripe mangoes can weigh anywhere from about five ounces to nearly five pounds.
Beyond being a juicy and delicious snack, mangoes also have more than 20 different vitamins and minerals that the body can use for all sorts of purposes. According to the nutrient fact database from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of mango has 99 calories, 1.4 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of fat, 24.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.6 grams of dietary fiber. While the calorie and carb count may seem high, that’s only because it is a nutrient-dense fruit that is filling and very healthy.
Being health conscious goes beyond calories and macronutrients, however; that same one cup of mango provides 60 mg of vitamin C, which is around 75% of the daily recommended value. Mangoes are also great sources of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin B6 as well as minerals like potassium, folate, calcium, and copper. These nutrients are used by our cells for many different purposes, and they are a boon for numerous aspects of health:
As beautiful as fresh mangoes are on the outside, it’s only the inner flesh that is typically eaten. In addition to having a leathery texture and waxy finish, mango skin contains an oily compound called urushiol. Urushiol is the same substance that is found in poison ivy and that can cause an itchy rash in some people who are susceptible. Yet even those who won’t develop a rash tend to avoid the skin because it has a bitter and unpleasant flavor.
After peeling the skin, the mango can be sliced or diced into any size. When slicing, it’s also important to be mindful of the flat stone pit in the center that most knives won’t be able to get through. You’ll be able to tell that the mango is ripe if you squeeze it and there’s a little give. The flesh of a ripe mango should be bright orange or yellow and is ready to eat raw or be used in any number of ways. Below are some common uses for this sweet fruit that has a hint of tartness:
Mangoes have long been a major food staple in many countries around the world, and they have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years. This is especially true in food production settings where mango flavor can be an exciting and exotic addition to fruit juices, soft drinks, hard seltzers, cocktail mixes, and a wide variety of products. Moreover, improvements in agricultural techniques have made mangoes available year round.
For decades now, FruitSmart has been a premium supplier of high-quality fruit and vegetable-based juices and ingredients. With state-of-the-art processing facilities and raw produce sourced from only the best growers, we are confident we can provide any product to meet any need. At FruitSmart, we are passionate about partnering with you and working with you to help you deliver the best final product to your customers. To learn more about mango juice concentrate or for any other questions, contact us today.