New mango varieties tested for disinfestation treatment
The Territory could soon be exporting two new varieties of mangoes if trials currently being undertaken by the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) are successful.
In a journey that replicates that of a mango bound for export markets, 40 trays of two new mango varieties have travelled to Queensland where they have been through disinfestation treatments mangoes must undergo before they can be exported to most overseas markets.
The mangoes departed Darwin on Monday 15 October. Half the consignment was flown to Cairns where they underwent vapour heat or hot water treatment at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries facilities, and the other half went to Brisbane to undergo irradiation at Steritech.
The mangoes were accompanied on their travels by DPIR researchers who were involved in monitoring the transport conditions and applying treatments.
Once the disinfestation treatments had been applied, the mangoes were flown back to Darwin where they are now undergoing post-harvest assessment in DPIR’s plant laboratory to determine if the treatments had any negative effect on fruit quality.
Different varieties of mangoes respond differently to the various disinfestation treatments.
The lab testing will determine which of the treatments the mangoes have responded most favourably to, and whether they have maintained suitable quality to be exported as a premium product to overseas markets.
The tests will look for evidence of skin blemishes, and changes to flesh colour, texture and sweetness – all the fabulous eating traits we think of when we’re dreaming about the perfect mango.
The Department of Primary Industry and Resources first planted these mango varieties at Katherine Research Station six years ago.
The two new varieties, currently referred to as National Mango Breeding Program (NMBP) 1243 and 1201, are higher yielding than many currently marketed mangoes, have different production times, and have a red skin blush.
NMBP 1243 has a wonderful strong red/pink blush and the classic Kensington Pride flavour Australian’s love, with production three times that of Kensington Pride, and its season in Katherine is between two and three weeks earlier than Kensington Pride.
NMBP 1201 has a soft red to dark red blush, with more of that Irwin tang flavour. It also has far higher production than KP, with a similar production season to Kensington Pride in the Katherine region.
Adding new varieties with different production times to the market will help to lengthen the production window and extend the Territory mango season.