Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mangos all the way

Some interesting stuff I learned about mangoes --

  • Mangoes are naturally low in fat and are an excellent source of vitamin C. Just half a mango provide almost 40 percent of a woman's daily vitamin C requirements.

  • They're also a source fibre and potassium, a mineral that helps keep blood pressure numbers in check.

  • Nutrition Information per ½ fruit (103 grams):

    Calories 67
    Fat 0.3 grams
    Fibre 2 grams
    Beta Carotene 461 micrograms
    Vitamin C 29 milligrams
    Potassium 161 milligrams

  • All mangoes have a large oversized seed. Because the mango seed is so oversized, the larger the mango, the higher the fruit-to-seed ratio. So, always buy a medium sized one.

  •  Ripening of mangos --

    • How a mango or any other fuit ripens 
      Ethylene is the hormone that is particularly responsible for causing mangoes (and other fruit) to ripen. It is also produced when plants are stressed by injury, infection or environmental factors such as drought or flooding. Fruit ripens when seeds are mature, in order to encourage animals to eat the fruit and disperse the seeds. A burst of ethylene causes the cell walls to break down and begins the conversion of starch and acid to sugar. As ripening continues, it triggers even more ethylene production, so a fruit in the process of ripening releases large amounts of the hormone. Because ethylene is a gas, the hormonal signal easily spreads from one fruit to another. When you place mangoes in a paper bag, ethylene gas is trapped and the signal is intensified, causing them to ripen faster.

      So, to quickly ripen a mango, place it in a paper bag with bananas or apples - these fruits will ripen faster when stored together because apple/banana releases ethylene which escapes as gas and causes nearby fruits to ripen.
    • Adulteration of mangoes -

      Mangoes can ripened quickly by artificial means using Calcium Carbide.
      Slightly green harvested mangoes are subjected to small containers of calcium carbide (CaC2) with a plastic covering. CaC2 reacts with the moisture in the air to release acetylene (or ethyne) gas, which like ethyleneis - a chemical substance produced by fruits to accelerate the normal process of fruit maturation - is a ripening hormone. Industrial-grade calcium carbide contains arsenic and phosphorus, and its use for the purpose of ripening is illegal in many countries.

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