Harvesting mangoes

Fruit that is ready for harvest should:

  • have a minimum dry matter of 14%
  • be well filled at the beak and shoulders.

When the fruit is cut open, the internal flesh is a uniform pale yellow. The internal flesh of immature fruit is white.

Treatment for post-harvest diseases is recommended, though not compulsory.

View the guides and training information for more detail.

Reduce sapburn

Sapburn occurs when the sap that first squirts from the fruit at de-stemming comes into contact with the fruit skin. It is worst in Kensington Pride.

Use harvesting and handling techniques that minimise sap coming into contact with mango skin.

Pick with stems and de-sap in the packing shed:

  • The fruit is covered with detergent before the stalk is removed to prevent sap directly contacting the skin.
  • As the fruit is placed on the packing line, water sprays remove the detergent and any sap residue.
  • The best choices in this situation are detergents such as Cold Power® or LOC, or wetting agents such as Agral®.
  • The mixing rate is 1mL or 1g per litre of water.
  • Staff who desap fruit must keep their hands clean of sap as a lot of sapburn has been attributed to 'sappy fingers'.

Use harvest aids or de-sap into a detergent solution:

  • These handling systems leave sap residues on the fruit, and a neutralising additive such as Mango Wash® or hydrated lime is the most effective chemical for the wash solution.
  • Mango Wash® is a neutraliser and detergent mixture, and needs no additives.
  • When hydrated lime is used, it is mixed with a detergent such as Agral®. The mixing rate is 10g of hydrated lime with 1mL of Agral® per litre of water.

Sanitise packing equipment

Clean equipment daily with a steam cleaner or high-pressure hot water applicator. Otherwise, use a hose with a suitable detergent.

Clean any equipment on which dirt and sap collects at lunch time as well as at the end of the day.

If you are having a problem with fruit rots other than anthracnose or stem end rot, you may need to sanitise the equipment using a solution that is approved for use in a food business.

Store at the correct temperature

Fruit should be cooled within 48 hours of harvest to prolong storage life, maximise fruit quality and improve colour development. Uncooled fruit tends to ripen irregularly and is more prone to post-harvest diseases.

Mangoes ripen evenly between 18 and 22°C. Hard, green mangoes can be stored at 13°C until they start to ripen, and ripe fruit can be cooled to 5°C for about 4 days.

Meet export requirements

Choose fruit from orchards with low disease levels. Do not export fruit from orchards with a history of stem end rot or other diseases.

Where prochloraz is not acceptable to the importing country, export is not recommended unless fruit is treated with a combination of hot water and vapour heat.

Vapour heat treatments

Vapour heat treatment was developed for export markets that require quarantine security against fruit fly but do not accept chemical disinfestation treatments. Vapour heat treatment will control anthracnose during short-term storage, but will not give adequate control of stem end rot.

Dipping fruit in hot water at 48 to 52°C for 5 minutes, 24 hours before vapour heat treatment will improve stem end rot control.

Packing sheds

Mango packing sheds must be registered only if the fruit is exported or sold in certain other states.

Check if there are any restrictions on moving your fruit to other states and territories from Queensland.

Dipping for fruit flies

Fruit sold to areas free of fruit fly must be treated according to the fruit fly certification agreement in place for that destination. This will include dipping or a post-harvest spray with an insecticide in addition to your pre-harvest fruit fly control program.