Mangoes are juicy stone fruit (drupe) from numerous species of
tropical trees belonging to the flowering plant genus Mangifera,
cultivated mostly for their edible fruit.
The majority of these species are found in nature as wild mangoes. The
genus belongs to the cashew family Anacardiaceae. Mangoes are native
to South Asia, from where the "common mango" or "Indian mango",
Mangifera indica, has been distributed worldwide to become one of the
most widely cultivated fruits in the tropics. Other
(e.g. horse mango,
Mangifera foetida) are grown on a more localized
It is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and
the national tree of Bangladesh.
A mango tree in full bloom in Kerala
Mango flower blossom
2 Etymology and history
5.2 Food constituents
6 Potential for contact dermatitis
7 Cultural significance
9 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
Mango trees grow to 35–40 m (115–131 ft) tall, with a
crown radius of 10 m (33 ft). The trees are long-lived, as
some specimens still fruit after 300 years. In deep soil, the
taproot descends to a depth of 6 m (20 ft), with profuse,
wide-spreading feeder roots and anchor roots penetrating deeply into
the soil. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple,
15–35 cm (5.9–13.8 in) long, and 6–16 cm
(2.4–6.3 in) broad; when the leaves are young they are
orange-pink, rapidly changing to a dark, glossy red, then dark green
as they mature. The flowers are produced in terminal panicles
10–40 cm (3.9–15.7 in) long; each flower is small and
white with five petals 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with
a mild, sweet fragrance. Over 500 varieties of mangoes are
known, many of which ripen in summer, while some give a double
crop. The fruit takes four to five months from flowering to
The ripe fruit varies in size, shape, color, and eating quality.
Cultivars are variously yellow, orange, red, or green, and carry a
single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface,
and which does not separate easily from the pulp. The fruits may be
somewhat round, oval, or kidney-shaped, ranging from 5–25
centimetres (2–10 in) in length and from 140 grams (5 oz)
to 2 kilograms (5 lb) in weight per individual fruit. The skin
is leather-like, waxy, smooth, and fragrant, with color ranging from
green to yellow, yellow-orange, yellow-red, or blushed with various
shades of red, purple, pink or yellow when fully ripe.
Ripe intact mangoes give off a distinctive resinous, sweet smell.
Inside the pit 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) thick is a thin
lining covering a single seed, 4–7 cm (1.6–2.8 in) long.
Mangoes have recalcitrant seeds which do not survive freezing and
Mango trees grow readily from seeds, with germination
success highest when seeds are obtained from mature fruits.
Etymology and history
The mango illustrated by
Michael Boym in the 1656 book Flora Sinensis.
The English word "mango" (plural "mangoes" or "mangos") originated
from the Malayalam word māṅṅa (or mangga) via Dravidian mankay
and Portuguese manga during the spice trade period with South
the 15th and 16th centuries.
Mango is mentioned by Hendrik van Rheede, the Dutch commander of the
Malabar region in his 1678 book, Hortus Malabaricus, about plants
having economic value. When mangoes were first imported to the
American colonies in the 17th century, they had to be pickled because
of lack of refrigeration. Other fruits were also pickled and came to
be called "mangoes", especially bell peppers, and in the 18th century,
the word "mango" became a verb meaning "to pickle".
Closeup of the inflorescence and immature fruits of an 'Alphonso'
Mangoes have been cultivated in
South Asia for thousands of years and
Southeast Asia between the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. By
the 10th century CE, cultivation had begun in East Africa. The
14th-century Moroccan traveler
Ibn Battuta reported it at
Mogadishu. Cultivation came later to Brazil, Bermuda, the West
Indies, and Mexico, where an appropriate climate allows its
The mango is now cultivated in most frost-free tropical and warmer
subtropical climates; almost half of the world's mangoes are
India alone, with the second-largest source being
China. Mangoes are also grown in Andalusia,
in Málaga province), as its coastal subtropical climate is one of the
few places in mainland
Europe that permits the growth of tropical
plants and fruit trees. The Canary Islands are another notable Spanish
producer of the fruit. Other cultivators include North America (in
South Florida and California's Coachella Valley), South and Central
America, the Caribbean, Hawai'i, south, west, and central Africa,
Australia, China, South Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Southeast
India is the largest producer of mangoes, it accounts for
less than 1% of the international mango trade;
India consumes most of
its own production.
Many commercial cultivars are grafted on to the cold-hardy rootstock
of Gomera-1 mango cultivar, originally from Cuba. Its root system is
well adapted to a coastal Mediterranean climate. Many of the
1,000+ mango cultivars are easily cultivated using grafted saplings,
ranging from the "turpentine mango" (named for its strong taste of
turpentine) to the huevos de toro. Dwarf or
semidwarf varieties serve as ornamental plants and can be grown in
containers. A wide variety of diseases can afflict mangoes.
Main article: List of mango cultivars
Alphonso mangoes, named after Afonso de Albuquerque, who introduced
the fruit to Goa
There are many hundreds of named mango cultivars. In mango orchards,
several cultivars are often grown in order to improve pollination.
Many desired cultivars are monoembryonic and must be propagated by
grafting or they do not breed true. A common monoembryonic cultivar is
'Alphonso', an important export product, considered as "the king of
Cultivars that excel in one climate may fail elsewhere. For example,
Indian cultivars such as 'Julie', a prolific cultivar in Jamaica,
require annual fungicide treatments to escape the lethal fungal
disease anthracnose in Florida. Asian mangoes are resistant to
The current world market is dominated by the cultivar 'Tommy Atkins',
a seedling of 'Haden' that first fruited in 1940 in southern Florida
and was initially rejected commercially by Florida researchers.
Growers and importers worldwide have embraced the cultivar for its
excellent productivity and disease resistance, shelf life,
transportability, size, and appealing color. Although the Tommy
Atkins cultivar is commercially successful, other cultivars may be
preferred by consumers for eating pleasure, such as Alphonso.
Generally, ripe mangoes have an orange-yellow or reddish peel and are
juicy for eating, while exported fruit are often picked while
underripe with green peels. Although producing ethylene while
ripening, unripened exported mangoes do not have the same juiciness or
flavor as fresh fruit.
Mango* production – 2016
(millions of tonnes)
* includes mangosteens and guavas reported to FAOSTAT
FAOSTAT of the United Nations
In 2016, global production of mangoes (report includes mangosteens and
guavas) was 46.5 million tonnes, led by
India with 40% (19 million
tonnes) of the world total (table).
Thailand were the
next largest producers (table).
The "hedgehog" style is a form of mango preparation
Mangoes are generally sweet, although the taste and texture of the
flesh varies across cultivars; some have a soft, pulpy texture similar
to an overripe plum, while others are firmer, like a cantaloupe or
avocado, and some may have a fibrous texture. The skin of unripe,
pickled, or cooked mango can be consumed, but has the potential to
cause contact dermatitis of the lips, gingiva, or tongue in
A glass of mango juice
Sliced Ataulfo mangoes
Mangoes are widely used in cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in
chutneys, athanu, pickles, side dishes, or may be eaten raw with
salt, chili, or soy sauce. A summer drink called aam panna comes from
Mango pulp made into jelly or cooked with red gram dhal and
green chillies may be served with cooked rice.
Mango lassi is popular
throughout South Asia, prepared by mixing ripe mangoes or mango
pulp with buttermilk and sugar. Ripe mangoes are also used to make
Aamras is a popular thick juice made of mangoes with sugar or
milk, and is consumed with chapatis or pooris. The pulp from ripe
mangoes is also used to make jam called mangada. Andhra aavakaaya is a
pickle made from raw, unripe, pulpy, and sour mango, mixed with chili
powder, fenugreek seeds, mustard powder, salt, and groundnut oil.
Mango is also used in
Andhra Pradesh to make dahl preparations.
Gujaratis use mango to make chunda (a spicy, grated mango delicacy).
Mangoes are used to make murabba (fruit preserves), muramba (a sweet,
grated mango delicacy), amchur (dried and powdered unripe mango), and
pickles, including a spicy mustard-oil pickle and alcohol. Ripe
mangoes are often cut into thin layers, desiccated, folded, and then
cut. These bars are similar to dried guava fruit bars available in
some countries. The fruit is also added to cereal products such as
muesli and oat granola. Mangoes are often prepared charred in Hawaii.
Unripe mango may be eaten with bagoong (especially in the
Philippines), fish sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, or with dash of salt
(plain or spicy). Dried strips of sweet, ripe mango (sometimes
combined with seedless tamarind to form mangorind) are also popular.
Mangoes may be used to make juices, mango nectar, and as a flavoring
and major ingredient in ice cream and sorbetes.
Mango is used to make juices, smoothies, ice cream, fruit bars,
raspados, aguas frescas, pies, and sweet chili sauce, or mixed with
chamoy, a sweet and spicy chili paste. It is popular on a stick dipped
in hot chili powder and salt or as a main ingredient in fresh fruit
combinations. In Central America, mango is either eaten green mixed
with salt, vinegar, black pepper, and hot sauce, or ripe in various
forms. Toasted and ground pumpkin seed (pepita) with lime and salt are
eaten with green mangoes.
Pieces of mango can be mashed and used as a topping on ice cream or
blended with milk and ice as milkshakes. Sweet glutinous rice is
flavored with coconut, then served with sliced mango as a dessert. In
other parts of Southeast Asia, mangoes are pickled with fish sauce and
rice vinegar. Green mangoes can be used in mango salad with fish sauce
and dried shrimp.
Mango with condensed milk may be used as a topping
for shaved ice.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
250 kJ (60 kcal)
Vitamin A equiv.
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Link to USDA Database entry
μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for
The energy value per 100 g (3.5 oz) serving of the common
mango is 250 kJ (60 kcal), and that of the apple mango is slightly
higher (330 kJ (79 kcal) per 100 g). Fresh mango
contains a variety of nutrients (right table), but only vitamin C and
folate are in significant amounts of the
Daily Value as 44% and 11%,
Numerous phytochemicals are present in mango peel and pulp, such as
the triterpene, lupeol which is under basic research for its potential
biological effects. An extract of mango branch bark called Vimang,
containing numerous polyphenols, has been studied in elderly
Mango peel pigments under study include carotenoids, such as the
provitamin A compound, beta-carotene, lutein and
alpha-carotene, and polyphenols, such as quercetin,
kaempferol, gallic acid, caffeic acid, catechins and tannins.
Mango contains a unique xanthonoid called mangiferin.
Phytochemical and nutrient content appears to vary across mango
cultivars. Up to 25 different carotenoids have been isolated from
mango pulp, the densest of which was beta-carotene, which accounts for
the yellow-orange pigmentation of most mango cultivars. Mango
leaves also have significant polyphenol content, including
xanthonoids, mangiferin and gallic acid.
The pigment euxanthin, known as Indian yellow, is often thought to be
produced from the urine of cattle fed mango leaves; the practice is
described as having been outlawed in 1908 because of malnutrition of
the cattle and possible urushiol poisoning. This supposed origin
of euxanthin appears to rely on a single, anecdotal source, and Indian
legal records do not outlaw such a practice.
Major flavor chemicals of 'Alphonso' mango from India
The flavor of mango fruits is constituted by several volatile organic
chemicals mainly belonging to terpene, furanone, lactone, and ester
classes. Different varieties or cultivars of mangoes can have flavor
made up of different volatile chemicals or same volatile chemicals in
different quantities. In general,
New World mango cultivars
are characterized by the dominance of δ-3-carene, a monoterpene
flavorant; whereas, high concentration of other monoterpenes such as
(Z)-ocimene and myrcene, as well as the presence of lactones and
furanones, is the unique feature of
Old World cultivars.
In India, 'Alphonso' is one of the most popular cultivars. In
'Alphonso' mango, the lactones and furanones are synthesized during
ripening; whereas terpenes and the other flavorants are present in
both the developing (immature) and ripening fruits.
Ethylene, a ripening-related hormone well known to be involved in
ripening of mango fruits, causes changes in the flavor composition of
mango fruits upon exogenous application, as well. In contrast
to the huge amount of information available on the chemical
composition of mango flavor, the biosynthesis of these chemicals has
not been studied in depth; only a handful of genes encoding the
enzymes of flavor biosynthetic pathways have been characterized to
Potential for contact dermatitis
Contact with oils in mango leaves, stems, sap, and skin can cause
dermatitis and anaphylaxis in susceptible individuals. Those with
a history of contact dermatitis induced by urushiol (an allergen found
in poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac) may be most at risk for
mango contact dermatitis. Cross-reactions may occur between mango
allergens and urushiol. During the primary ripening season of
mangoes, contact with mango plant parts is the most common cause of
plant dermatitis in Hawaii. However, sensitized individuals are
still able to safely eat peeled mangos or drink mango juice.
An image of Ambika under a mango tree in Cave 34 of the Ellora Caves
The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the
Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh. In
India, harvest and sale of mangoes is during March–May and this is
annually covered by news agencies.
The Mughal emperor
Akbar (1556–1605 ) is said to have planted a
mango orchard having 100,000 trees in Darbhanga, eastern India.
Jain goddess Ambika is traditionally represented as sitting under
a mango tree. In Hinduism, the perfectly ripe mango is often held
Ganesha as a symbol of attainment, regarding the devotees'
Mango blossoms are also used in the worship of
the goddess Saraswati. No Telugu/Kannada New Year's Day called Ugadi
passes without eating ugadi pachadi made with mango pieces as one of
Dried mango skin and its seeds are also used in Ayurvedic
Mango leaves are used to decorate archways and doors in
Indian houses and during weddings and celebrations such as Ganesh
Mango motifs and paisleys are widely used in different
Indian embroidery styles, and are found in Kashmiri shawls,
Kanchipuram silk sarees, etc. Paisleys are also common to Iranian art,
because of its pre-Islamic
In Andhra Pradesh, mango leaves are considered auspicious and are used
to decorate front doors during festivals.
In Tamil Nadu, the mango is referred to as one of the three royal
fruits, along with banana and jackfruit, for their sweetness and
flavor. This triad of fruits is referred to as ma-pala-vazhai.
Fruit drinks that include mango are popular in India, with brands such
as Frooti, Maaza, and Slice. These leading brands include sugar and
artificial flavors, so they do not qualify as "juice" under Food
Safety and Standards Authority of
In the West Indies, the expression "to go mango walk" means to steal
another person's mango fruits. This is celebrated in the famous song,
In Australia, the first tray of mangoes of the season is traditionally
sold at an auction for charity.
The classical Sanskrit poet
Kālidāsa sang the praises of
Mangoes, although they were almost unheard of in
China before, were
popularized during the
Cultural Revolution as symbols of Chairman Mao
Zedong's love for the people.
A nearly ripened purple mango, Israel
Shan-e-Khuda, a mango grown in Pakistan
Mango roundabout, Rajshahi
Banganpalli mangoes being sold in Guntur
Mangos in a Paris farmers' market
Achaar, South Asian pickles, commonly containing mango and lime
Amchoor, mango powder
Mangosteen, an unrelated fruit with a similar name
Mango pickle – Mangai-oorkai (manga-achar), South Indian hot mango
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