Mango Seeds May Protect Against Deadly Food Bacteria
New research has yielded a way to turn the throwaway kernels in mangoes into a natural food preservative that could help prevent Listeriosis outbreaks. Christina Engels has found a way to turn the throwaway kernels in mangoes into a natural food preservative that could help prevent Listeriosis outbreaks like the one that killed 21 Canadians last year. The findings can also apply to other fruit seeds like grapes, said Engels, who conducted the research to earn her master’s degree from the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the U of A. The research is published in the latest Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Pure tannins, a plant component extracted from otherwise useless mango kernels by Engels, have proven inhibitory effects against various strains of bacteria including Listeria, a potentially deadly pathogen that infected some packaged meats and caused an outbreak of disease in Canada in 2008. Engels’ research focuses on a way to recycle wood-like mango kernels, which are usually thrown away or burned. “By processing the kernels for their tannins, businesses have a way to completely utilize all fruit parts and therefore increase their profit,” she said. Currently, mangos are one of the main fruits marketed globally, ranked fifth in world production among the major fruit crops. news from sciencedaily.com
Mangoes belong to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous species of tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is indigenous to the Indian Subcontinent. Cultivated in many tropical regions and distributed widely in the world, mango is one of the most extensively exploited fruits for food, juice, flavor, fragrance and color, making it a common ingredient in new functional foods often called superfruits. Its leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings and religious ceremonies. The word mango comes from the Portuguese manga, which is probably derived from the Malayalam(māṅṅa; pronounced “manga”). The word’s first recorded attestation in a European language was a text by Ludovico di Varthema in Italian in 1510, as Manga; the first recorded occurrences in languages such as French and post-classical Latin appear to be translations from this Italian text. The origin of the -o ending in English is unclear. Mango trees (Mangifera indica L.) reach 35–40 m in height, with a crown radius of 10 m. The tree is long-lived with some specimens known to be over 300 years old and still fruiting. In deep soil the taproot descends to a depth of 20 feet, and the profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots also send down many anchor roots which penetrate for several feet. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15–35 cm long and 6–16 cm 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 long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5–10 mm long, with a mild sweet odor suggestive of lily of the valley. The fruit takes from three to six months to ripen.
The ripe fruit is variable in size and color, and may be yellow, orange, red or green when ripe, depending on the cultivar.When ripe, the unpeeled fruit gives off a distinctive resinous sweet smell. In its center is a single flat oblong seed that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, depending on the cultivar. Inside the seed coat 1–2 mm thick is a thin lining covering a single embryo, 4–7 cm long, 3–4 cm wide, and 1 cm thick. Mangoes have been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years and reached East Asia between the 5th-4th century BC. By the 10th century AD, they were transported to East Africa and subsequently introduced to Brazil, West Indies and Mexico, where climate allows its appropriate growth.The 14th century Muslim traveler, Ibn Battuta, reported it at Mogadishu. Mango is now cultivated as a fruit tree in frost-free tropical and warmer subtropical climates like that of the Indian subcontinent; nearly half of the world’s mangoes are cultivated in India alone. Other regions where mango is cultivated include North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, south, west and central Africa, Australia, China, Pakistan and Southeast Asia. It is easily cultivated yielding more than 1,000 cultivars, ranging from the “turpentine mango” (named for its strong taste of turpentine, which according to the Oxford Companion to Food some varieties actually contain) to the huevos de toro (“eggs of the bull”, a euphemism for “bull’s testicles”, referring to the shape and size).Though India is the largest producer of mangoes in the world, it accounts for less than one percent of the global mango trade. Dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties serve as ornamental plants and can be grown in containers. A wide variety of diseases can afflict mangoes; see List of mango diseases. A ripe mango is sweet, with a unique taste that nevertheless varies from variety to variety. The texture of the flesh varies between cultivars, some having a soft, pulpy texture similar to an over-ripe plum, while others have firmer flesh like a cantaloupe or avocado. In some cultivars, the flesh has a fibrous texture. Mango lassi [mango smoothie] is very popular in Indian restaurants in some countries. Nutrient and antioxidant properties. Mango is rich in a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients that qualify it as a model “superfruit”, a term used to highlight potential health value of certain edible fruits. The fruit is high in prebiotic dietary fiber, vitamin C, polyphenols and provitamin A carotenoids.Mango contains essential vitamins and dietary minerals. The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E comprise 25%, 76% and 9% of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) in a 165 g serving. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, 11% DRI), vitamin K (9% DRI), other B vitamins and essential nutrients such as potassium, copper and 17 amino acids are at good levels. Mango peel and pulp contain other phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants – carotenoids and polyphenols – and omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Mango peel contains pigments that may have antioxidant properties, including carotenoids, such as the provitamin A compound, beta-carotene, lutein and alpha-carotene,polyphenols such as quercetin, kaempferol, gallic acid, caffeic acid, catechins, tannins, and the unique mango xanthone, mangiferin, any of which may counteract free radicals in various disease mechanisms as revealed in preliminary research.Contents of these phytochemicals and nutrients appear to vary across different mango species. Up to 25 different carotenoids have been isolated from mango pulp, the densest content for which was beta-carotene accounting for the yellow-orange pigmentation of most mango species. Peel and leaves also have significant content of polyphenols, including xanthones, mangiferin and gallic acid.The mango triterpene, lupeol is an effective inhibitor in laboratory models of prostate and skin cancers. An extract of mango branch bark called Vimang, isolated by Cuban scientists, contains numerous polyphenols with antioxidant properties in vitro and on blood parameters of elderly humans. The pigment euxanthin, known as Indian yellow, is often thought to be produced from the urine of cows fed mango leaves; the practice is described as having been outlawed in 1908 due to malnutrition of the cows and possible urushiol poisoning. One author claims these descriptions of the pigment’s origin rely on a single anecdotal source and Indian legal records do not mention such a practice being outlawed. Mangoes account for approximately fifty percent of all tropical fruits produced worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates worldwide production of mangoes at more than 23 million tons in 2001. With 12 million tons produced annually . India accounts for almost half of the world production, followed by China (3 million tons), Pakistan (2.25 million tons), Mexico (1.5 million tons) and Thailand (1.35 million tons). The aggregate production of 10 countries is responsible for roughly 80% of the entire world mango production. Alphonso, Benishan or Benishaan (Banganpalli in Telugu and Tamil) and Kesar mango varieties are considered among the best mangoes in the Southern states whereas Dussehri and Langda varieties are most popular in the Northern states of India. Commonly exported, the Alphonso cultivar is grown exclusively in the Konkan region of Maharashtra.. Alphonso is named after Afonso De Albuquerque who reputedly brought the drupe on his journeys to Goa. The locals took to calling this Aphoos in Konkani and in Maharashtra the pronunciation got further corrupted to Hapoos. This variety then was taken to the Konkan region of Maharashtra and other parts of India. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states in the south, Gujarat in western India, and Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the north are major producers of mangoes harvested especially to make spicy mango pickles having regional differences in taste. In Pakistan the popular mangoes are the Sindhri and Chaunsa, besides other varieties like Langra, Anwar Ratoal and Malva. The Sindhri mango is primarily produced in the province of Sindh and can measure up to half a foot in length. Generally, once ripe, mangoes have an orange-yellow or reddish peel and are juicy for eating while those intended for export are often picked while under-ripe with green peels. Although producing ethylene while ripening, unripened exported mangoes do not have the same juiciness or flavor as fresh fruit. A woman selling mangoes in Venezuela. Native green mangoes from the Philippines. Mangoes are popular throughout Latin America. In Mexico, sliced mango is eaten with chili powder and/or salt. Street vendors sell whole mangoes on a stick, dipped in the chili-salt mixture. In Indonesia and Thailand, green mango is sold by street vendors with sugar and salt and/or chili, or used in a sour salad called rujak or rojak in Malaysia and Singapore. Ayurveda considers ripe mango sweet and heating, balancing all three doshas (humors), while also providing energy. Powdered raw mango is a condiment in various cuisines. Like other drupaceous fruits, mangoes come in both freestone and clingstone varieties.
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