How to Keep Mango Fresh for Long Time

How to Keep Mango Fresh for Long Time

Millions of people all around the world love the delectable tropical fruit known as the mango. They are a well-liked option for smoothies, salads, desserts, and other dishes because of their sweet, juicy flesh and fragrant aroma.

Mangoes are, however, infamous for being quite perishable; once they ripen, they can easily become overripe and spoil. This can be annoying, especially if you purchased a lot of mangoes and intend to eat them over the course of several days or even weeks.

Selecting the Right Mangoes

Selecting the right mangoes is essential to ensure that you enjoy the best flavor and quality. Here are some tips to help you choose ripe and delicious mangoes:

  1. Consider the variety: There are numerous mango varieties available, and each has its own unique taste and texture. Some popular varieties include Alphonso, Ataulfo, Kent, and Tommy Atkins. Research the varieties available in your region and choose based on your personal preference.
  2. Check for color and appearance: Mangoes come in different colors, ranging from green to yellow, red, or a combination of these hues, depending on the variety. Look for mangoes that have a vibrant color and avoid those with blemishes, bruises, or wrinkled skin.
  3. Assess the firmness: Gently squeeze the mango to determine its ripeness. A ripe mango will yield slightly to gentle pressure but should not be too soft or mushy. If it feels too firm, it may need more time to ripen, whereas overly soft mangoes are likely overripe.
  4. Smell the mango: Ripe mangoes emit a fragrant, sweet aroma near the stem end. Give it a sniff to check for a pleasant, fruity scent. If there’s no smell or it smells sour, the mango may not be ripe yet.
  5. Consider the weight: A ripe mango will feel heavier compared to an unripe one of the same size. Pick up the mango and assess its weight. This method is more applicable when buying loose mangoes rather than pre-packaged ones.
  6. Ripening stages: If you want to buy slightly unripe mangoes to allow them to ripen at home, choose fruits that are firm but still yield to gentle pressure. Place them at room temperature in a paper bag for a couple of days until they ripen. Adding a ripe banana to the bag can speed up the ripening process due to the release of ethylene gas.
  7. Avoidance of extreme softness: While ripe mangoes should be slightly soft, avoid those with extreme softness, as they may indicate overripeness or spoilage.

Also Read: How to store Satsumas

How to Keep Mango Fresh for Long Time

Proper Storage Temperature

The proper storage temperature for mangoes depends on their ripeness. Here are some guidelines:

  1. Ripening: If your mangoes are not yet fully ripe and you want to speed up the ripening process, store them at room temperature, ideally between 68°F (20°C) and 86°F (30°C). Placing them in a paper bag with a ripe banana can help accelerate ripening due to the ethylene gas released by the banana.
  2. Ripe mangoes: Once your mangoes are fully ripe and you want to slow down the ripening process or extend their shelf life, you can store them in the refrigerator. Place ripe mangoes in the crisper drawer, which has higher humidity, to help maintain their freshness. The recommended temperature range for refrigerating mangoes is between 50°F (10°C) and 54°F (12°C). However, keep in mind that refrigeration can slightly affect the texture of the mangoes.

It’s worth noting that if you have unripe mangoes and you want to delay their ripening, it’s best to keep them at room temperature until they reach the desired level of ripeness before transferring them to the refrigerator.

Cleaning and Drying the Mangoes

Cleaning and drying mangoes before consuming or storing them is an important step to ensure food safety and remove any potential contaminants. Here’s how you can clean and dry mangoes:

  1. Wash your hands: Before handling the mangoes, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water to remove any dirt or bacteria.
  2. Rinse the mangoes: Hold the mangoes under running water and gently rub the surface with your hands to remove any dirt or debris. It’s not necessary to use soap or any detergent. Ensure that all parts of the mango, including the stem end, are thoroughly rinsed.
  3. Scrub if needed: If you notice any stubborn dirt or residue, you can use a clean produce brush to gently scrub the surface of the mango.
  4. Pat dry: After rinsing the mangoes, use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to pat them dry. This step helps remove excess moisture, which can promote the growth of mold or spoilage.
  5. Air-dry: If you’re planning to store the mangoes, it’s recommended to let them air-dry completely before placing them in the refrigerator. You can place them on a clean dish towel or a drying rack and allow them to dry naturally for about 15-30 minutes.
  6. Storage: Once the mangoes are dry, you can store them according to the guidelines mentioned earlier, either at room temperature to ripen further or in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.

Remember, it’s always a good practice to handle mangoes with clean hands and use clean utensils and cutting surfaces when preparing or cutting them to avoid any cross-contamination with other foods.

Also read : How long Does A Pomegranate juice last?

Wrap in Paper Towels

Wrapping mangoes in paper towels can help absorb excess moisture and prolong their freshness. Here’s how you can wrap mangoes in paper towels:

  1. Choose ripe mangoes: Select mangoes that are fully ripe and ready to eat or slightly unripe if you prefer to ripen them further at home.
  2. Gather paper towels: Take a few sheets of clean, dry paper towels. The number of paper towels you’ll need depends on the size and quantity of mangoes you’re wrapping.
  3. Wrap each mango individually: Take a paper towel and place the mango in the center. Wrap the mango tightly with the paper towel, covering it completely. Ensure that all sides are covered to absorb any moisture.
  4. Secure with rubber bands (optional): To keep the paper towel in place, you can secure it with rubber bands. Wrap the rubber band around the paper towel-covered mango a couple of times, making sure it’s snug but not too tight to avoid damaging the mango.
  5. Repeat for additional mangoes: If you have more mangoes to wrap, repeat the process for each one, wrapping them individually in paper towels.
  6. Store appropriately: Once the mangoes are wrapped in paper towels, you can store them in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. The paper towels will help absorb any excess moisture, keeping the mangoes fresh for a longer time.

Remember to check on the mangoes periodically and remove any mangoes that show signs of spoilage or overripeness.

Wrapping mangoes in paper towels is especially useful if you live in a humid climate or if the mangoes are very ripe and juicy. It can help prevent them from becoming too mushy and extend their shelf life in the refrigerator.

Store in a Ventilated Container

Storing mangoes in a ventilated container can provide proper air circulation and help maintain their freshness. Here’s how you can store mangoes in a ventilated container:

  1. Choose a container: Select a container that allows for proper ventilation. A perforated plastic container or a basket with gaps or holes works well. Alternatively, you can use a regular container but create ventilation by poking small holes in the lid or sides.
  2. Line the container (optional): If desired, you can line the container with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to absorb any excess moisture and prevent direct contact between the mangoes and the container.
  3. Place the mangoes in the container: Arrange the mangoes in a single layer inside the container. Make sure they are not touching or overcrowded, allowing for airflow between the fruits.
  4. Leave space for air circulation: If storing multiple layers of mangoes, place a small gap or use a rack between each layer to allow air to circulate evenly.
  5. Store in a cool location: Find a cool spot for the container, such as a pantry or a cool area in the kitchen. Avoid placing it near direct sunlight or sources of heat, as excessive heat can speed up the ripening process.
  6. Check regularly: Periodically check the mangoes for ripeness and signs of spoilage. Remove any mangoes that are overripe or show signs of mold or rotting to prevent them from affecting the others.

Remember, mangoes are best consumed within a few days of ripening for optimal flavor and quality. Using a ventilated container helps prevent moisture buildup and extends the shelf life of the mangoes by providing proper air circulation.

Refrigeration Techniques

Refrigeration is an effective method to store mangoes and extend their shelf life. Here are some refrigeration techniques to help keep your mangoes fresh:

  1. Select ripe mangoes: Choose mangoes that are fully ripe or slightly underripe for refrigeration. Overripe mangoes may spoil quickly even when refrigerated.
  2. Store in the crisper drawer: Place the mangoes in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. The crisper drawer provides a slightly higher humidity environment, which helps maintain the mangoes’ freshness.
  3. Do not wash before refrigeration: It’s best to avoid washing mangoes before refrigeration. Excess moisture can promote mold growth, so it’s better to rinse them just before consuming or using them.
  4. Keep them separate: To prevent cross-contamination and potential flavor transfer, store mangoes separately from other fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. Mangoes have a distinct aroma that can affect other produce.
  5. Do not stack or overcrowd: Avoid stacking or overcrowding the mangoes in the refrigerator. Give them some space to allow air circulation and minimize bruising.
  6. Check for spoilage regularly: Periodically inspect the mangoes for any signs of spoilage, such as mold, soft spots, or an unpleasant odor. Remove any spoiled mangoes to prevent them from affecting the others.
  7. Ripened mangoes: If you have ripe mangoes that you’re not planning to consume immediately, you can transfer them to the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process. However, keep in mind that refrigeration can slightly affect the texture of the mangoes.
  8. Ripening in the refrigerator: If you have slightly underripe mangoes and want to ripen them, you can leave them at room temperature until they reach the desired ripeness, and then transfer them to the refrigerator to slow down further ripening.

Remember that mangoes are best consumed within a few days of ripening for optimal flavor and texture. Refrigeration can extend their shelf life by a few additional days, but it’s recommended to check them regularly and consume them before they become overripe or show signs of spoilage.

Freezing Mangoes

Freezing mangoes is a great way to preserve their freshness and enjoy them later. Here’s how you can freeze mangoes:

  1. Select ripe mangoes: Choose fully ripe mangoes for freezing. Ripe mangoes have the best flavor and texture.
  2. Peel and slice the mangoes: Start by peeling the mangoes using a vegetable peeler or a knife. Once peeled, slice the mango flesh away from the pit. Cut the mango into desired-sized pieces, such as cubes or slices.
  3. Optional: Flash-freeze individual pieces (optional): If you want to freeze the mango pieces individually, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they are not touching each other. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours until the mango pieces are frozen. This prevents them from clumping together during storage.
  4. Prepare for storage: Transfer the mango pieces into airtight freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Squeeze out any excess air from the bags before sealing to minimize freezer burn. Label the containers or bags with the date for easy reference.
  5. Freeze: Place the containers or bags of mangoes in the freezer. Ensure they are laid flat to allow for easy stacking and maximize space utilization.
  6. Frozen mango storage duration: Mangoes can be stored in the freezer for up to 10 to 12 months. However, for the best quality and taste, it’s recommended to consume them within 6 to 8 months.

When you’re ready to use the frozen mangoes, you can thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a short period. They can be used in smoothies, desserts, salads, or other recipes.

Note: The texture of thawed mangoes may be slightly softer than fresh mangoes, but they are still delicious and suitable for most recipes.

Remember that freezing alters the texture of mangoes, so the thawed mangoes are best used in recipes where the texture is less critical, such as smoothies or sauces.

Using Citrus or Lemon Juice

Citrus juices, such as lemon juice, can be used to store mangoes and prevent them from browning or discoloring. The acidic nature of citrus juices helps to inhibit the enzyme responsible for browning in fruits, known as polyphenol oxidase.

Here’s a simple method to use citrus juice for storing mangoes:

  1. Select ripe but firm mangoes that are free from any bruises or damage.
  2. Wash the mangoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or residue.
  3. Peel and cut the mangoes into desired shapes or slices.
  4. Prepare a solution of citrus juice by squeezing fresh lemons or any other citrus fruit of your choice. Dilute the juice with an equal amount of water.
  5. Place the mango pieces or slices in a bowl or container.
  6. Pour the citrus juice solution over the mangoes, ensuring that they are completely submerged.
  7. If needed, you can also add a tablespoon of sugar to the citrus juice solution to enhance the flavor, but this step is optional.
  8. Cover the bowl or container with a lid or plastic wrap to seal it.
  9. Store the mangoes in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

The citrus juice will help preserve the color and freshness of the mangoes for a longer period. Before consuming, rinse the mangoes with water to remove any excess citrus juice.

It’s worth noting that while this method can help slow down the browning process, it may not completely prevent it. The mangoes will still gradually ripen and soften over time, so it’s best to consume them within a few days of storage for the best quality.