Alternative Treatments to Hot Water Immersion for Mango Fruit
With only a few exceptions, most mango fruit are grown in areas of the world where various fruit fly species are established. For this reason, export of these mango fruit into the United States has required phytosanitary measures, usually a quarantine treatment, to assure no live fruit fly insects are present in imported fruit.
The quality of mango fruit on the markets in the United States is too frequently of substandard quality. While it is recognized that many factors can contribute to a loss in fruit quality; many in the mango industry feel that the hot water protocol is mainly responsible for the loss in mango fruit quality.
Other treatment alternatives are currently available to the industry, including forced hot air and irradiation, while other options are under development and could become available either in the near or distant future. This report presents a description of the various treatment options for mango fruit and the advantages and disadvantages of each potential alternative to the hot water protocol. In addition, a thorough evaluation of the hot water protocol and mango handling at the packinghouse level is presented with recommendations for improvements.
Among the various alternatives, forced hot-air, forced hot-air with controlled atmospheres (high temperature controlled atmospheres) and irradiation show the most promise for improvements to fruit quality and each could be implemented in a relatively short time frame. The high temperature controlled atmosphere treatment is not yet approved by APHIS, but APHIS recently approved this treatment for use within the U.S. Each of these options is capital intensive, especially the irradiation option. For this reason, we recommend that the industry pursue improvements to the hot water protocol and fruit temperature management before and after the hot water treatment in addition to exploring alternative treatments.