Managing quality and reducing postharvest losses in the mango value chain
Postharvest technologies and best practices were integrated in the mango value chain of Bangladesh to manage quality and reduce losses throughout the marketing channel. The experiment was conducted at Volahat, Chapainawabganj, a commercial mango producing area, with an active Mango Grower Foundation, alongside traditional practices in order to measure the impacts of improved technologies and practices. Interventions piloted in the improved value chain included the introduction of an improved harvesting tool, referred to as the 'BARI mango harvester', use of plastic crates as field and transport containers, trimming of the long stems attached to the fruit, delatexing after trimming using the 'BARI delatexing tray', and hot water treatment (HWT) at 53°C for 5 min followed by hydro-cooling for 5 min in tap water. Traditional practices included harvesting mangoes using a bamboo pole with a net attached at the end that detached the fruit from the tree with or without leaving a long stem attached to the fruit. Long stems were then detached by manual pulling, allowing fresh latex to drip on the fruit. Field containers used were bamboo baskets that were sometimes lined with newspaper. Sorted mangoes were packed in plastic crates and transported to the collection centre for eventual marketing. Mangoes handled using both the traditional and improved practices packed in plastic crates, were loaded on to a truck and transported together with the commercial load to the wholesale market in Gazipur district, some about 500 km away, and a 10-h drive. Mangoes were distributed to four retail shops at Gazipur fruit wet market for subsequent observation and data collection. Mangoes handled using the improved practices, particularly keeping 8-10 mm stalk attached to the fruit along with HWT, were of better keeping quality and were marketable on day 3 to day 5 in retail. The incidence of stem end rot in traditionally handled mangoes was greater (14.3%) than that of anthracnose on day 5, while it was only 5.6% in HWT mangoes. On the other hand, the incidence of anthracnose was 9.6% in traditionally handled mangoes, and only 0.8% with HWT. Unmarketable mangoes which considered as postharvest loss accounted for 25.1% of the traditionally handled mangoes, while a 7% loss resulted in mangoes handled using the improved practice. With the improved practice, the reduction in losses ranged from 70 to 72% over 3 to 5 days at retail shop. Through a partial budget analysis it was estimated the additional gross weekly income of a trader by selling 4000 kg of mango applying HWT in the improved practice would be BDT 71,937 (US$ 900). Additional benefits of HWT included reduced levels of latex staining on the fruit and enhancement of fruit ripening both in terms of softening and change in peel colour from green to light yellow. Thus, the interventions piloted proved highly beneficial for the mango industry in Bangladesh and would help to promote mango exports.
Rahman, M.A., Esguerra, E.B., Saha, M.G. and Rolle, R. (2018). Managing quality and reducing postharvest losses in the mango value chain. Acta Hortic. 1210, 1-12
mango, Bangladesh, delatexing, hot water treatment, value chain, fruit quality, loss reduction