Packaging of Mango for Export

Excerpt: Adopting improved packaging, handling and transportation methods during distribution and marketing can successfully reduce huge pre harvest and post-harvest losses.

Packaging of Mango for Export

Mrs. Anjali Kapoor*,

Ms. Pournima Chavan**

SIES School of Packaging,
Packaging Technology Centre, Nerul, Navi Mumbai.


MANGO (Mangiferaindica Linn) is the most important fruit of India and is known as “King of fruits” available in widest range of varieties. All over the world, mangoes are mostly consumed as a fresh, unprocessed, ripe fruit. Mango is a highly perishable, ripens fast during summer and becomes inconsumable very soon. As per an estimate about 30- 35% of mango is lost in harvest, post- harvest and distribution phase till reaches the consumer, it which made considerable gap between production and availability of fresh fruits to consumers. Thus, there is an urgent need to adopt proper post-harvest management practices by adopting improved packaging, handling and efficient transportation methods. Packaging is required to keep the mangoes in good condition until these are sold and consumed.

Globe market senario (2011- 2012)

Exports from India (2011-2012)

Exportsfrom India (2012-2013)
Exports from India (2013-2014)

Factors affecting quality of mango with respect to export

  1. CLIMATIC CONDITION: soil selection, weather condition,rainfall, sunlight, natural calamities.

  1. MICROBIAL INFECTION: anthracnose, stem end rot, fruit fly,
  2. PRE-HARVEST TREATMENT: mango seed weevil. fertilizer, growth regulator, plant activator, fungicide, pesticide, bactericides, mulching.
  3. POST-HARVEST TREATMENT: harvesting, sorting, hot water treatment, drying, grading, packaging, cold storage, ripening.
  4. TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS: palletization, strapping, loading, unloading.
  5. STORAGE TECHNIQUES: evaporative cool storage, low temperature storage, controlled atmosphere storage, low pressure storage.
Mango packaging parameters

1. Maturity

  • The maturity of fruit has been correlated with various physical characteristics such as surface color, shape, size, shoulder growth, and specific gravity and chemical parameters.
  • The degree of firmness can be estimated subjectively by finger or thumb pressure, but more precise objective measurement is possible with pressure tester or penetrometer
  • For Dashehari mangoes, it was observed that the mango harvested at 85 days of maturity from the flowering of the mango fruit flowers, resulted in optimum ripening with higher storage life, whereas those harvested after 95 days were liable to fungal attack and showed shorter shelf life.
  • Even ethylene or acetylene treatment could not induce complete ripening with proper aroma, flavor, and taste in immature fruits, although they developed yellow color.

2. Temperature

Temperature control is based on light, well insulated structure. Sufficient refrigeration capacity for maximum demand, and control of refrigerant flow through the system by means of thermostats and / or pressure controlled expansion valves.

3. Relative humidity (RH)

Food Packaging  Relative humidity is the percentage of saturation of air with water vapor at a given temperature. As temperature of air increase its water vapor holding capacity also increased. As RH of air decreases, its vapor pressure decreases, as vapor pressure  decreases the capacity of the air for in sufficient volume to remove respiratory heat, and has a uniform removing water from moist sources flow of air which maintain uniform increases. Therefore it is very rate of ripening.60-80 air circulation per hour. important to maintain the RH.

  1. Storage
Packaging material used in commercial fresh mango

Source: COMTRADE, United Nations

Figure: Maturity stages of mango

 Proper storage of fresh produce can


affect both quality and safety. Perishable fresh mango should be

Packaging options for fresh

stored in a clean refrigerator at


temperature of 13 degree Celsius or below. The purposes are to

A. Present status of mango

Figure: penetrometer

minimize growth of micro-

packaging in local market

organisms and to reduce enzyme activity

1. Baskets

Figure: Top ventilation

Figure: Side ventilation

Made up of bamboo or plastic.

  1. Air ventilation   Stacking one on another is not  Air movement (ventilation) must be

possible. Require more space in

Food Packaging transportation, increase transportation cost. More transportation hazards to 

produce. Plastic leno bags  Flexible, cheap, easy to handle.  Lack of protection during transportation and handling.  High transportation hazards were observed.  LLDPE, LDPE, HDPE, PP, PS used. Wooden crates

Heavy, non-collapsible, rigid.   Required more space for storage  Give more protection, low transportation hazards. High transportation cost. 

  1. Plastic crates  M a d e u p o f H D P E /HMHDPE  Rigid, durable, reusable, recyclable.  Also available in collapsible form.  Each crate costs about 4.5 USD (durability 10 years)  Recycled plastic crate costs about 3 USD (durability 5 years) 3. CFB boxes and crates Lighter, cheaper, relatively 

stronger  Humidity and water vapor limits the good properties of CFB by reducing strength  Available in wax coated and laminated form (LDPE) Collapsible, required less space 

for storage, stackable.  Low transportation hazards and loss  Less transportation cost Recyclable   Bio-degradable. 6. PP and PS boxes  Provide enough protection to produce.  Light in weight, rigid, stackable.  Low transportation hazards. B. Interior packaging management  Cushioning Material 1. Dry grass, paddy straw, leaves, saw dust.

  1. Foam net –depends on foam thickness 3. Single wall corrugated paper - depends on density of paper 4. Shredded paper - depends on type, density, and width of paper (3mm , 6mm) 5. Moulded pulp tray, cell pack is used to replacing the cushioning material. C. Edible Film Development a. Principle of Edible Films/ Coatings It creates an internal modified atmosphere of fresh fruits which will delay ripening and reduce moisture loss,

extend the shelf life and quality of fruit.

Food Packaging

 Selection of appropriate coating on the basis of permeability to gases helps to decrease internal O and increase internal CO 2 2 concentration inside tissues, which decreases ethylene metabolism resulting into delay ripening.  It provides basically barrier to O and CO , aroma, and 2 2 moisture

b. Composition of Edible Coatings

Figure: Innovative fiberboard box design with primary packaging

I t r e q u i r e s l i p i d s , r e s i n s , carbohydrates, hydrocolloids, proteins, plant essential oil (antimicrobial agent) and organic acids. eg. Samperfresh coating applied on different varieties of mangoes.

Role of latest technology in
mango treatments and packaging

Good agricultural practice (GAP)

Good pre-harvest as well as post- harvest treatment careful handling of fresh produce is more important which reduce post-harvest losses. 

Innovative Packaging Films

Alphonso mangoes packed in micro perforated D-955 Film could be stored for 1 month at 8 degree C in unripe hard green condition. These fruits could be ripened normally within a week after removing the film and keeping at ambient temperature without any chilling symptoms and with good surface and pulp color, firmness and good sensory quality. Long-distance shipping exposes fresh fruit and vegetables to ethylene gas, a powerful plant hormone that triggers the ripening process. PEAKfresh is a mineral impregnated polyethylene film which absorbs and removes ethylene gas. It has excellent permeability and good deodorizing properties. Its anti-fog treatment helps maintain a high humidity environment, while minimizing condensation which can accelerate mold and bacteria growth and degrade carton integrity.  Much more produce packed per load  Up to 45% savings on packing costs by eliminating ice and waxed cartons  No mess or safety hazards from melting ice  No chilling injury to fresh produce  Extended shelf life 

Individually shrink wrapped

mangoes could be stored for 5 weeks at 8 degree C in unripe hard green condition without any chilling injury symptoms. The shrink wrapped fruits ripened normally after removing the film and shifted to ambient temperature within a week with good surface yellow color, and firmness with acceptable sensory quality. The B-carotene content was significantly higher in shrink wrapped fruits when compared to unwrapped fruits.  Shrink-wrapping is a new technique and trend for packaging mangoes  Shrink-wrapping with an engineered plastic wrap can reduce shrinkage  protect the produce from disease / pests  Reduce mechanical damage  provide a good surface for stick-on labels

Biotechnology Improves Quality and Postharvest Shelf Life of Fresh Mango

There are many opportunities to develop genotypes that have lower respiration and ethylene production rates, less susceptibility to chilling injuries and increased resistance to

preharvest and postharvest decay caused

Figure: Right side mango coated and left side mango un-coated

Food Packaging

by pathogens and extend the shelf life. Nanotechnology in Mango Packaging a. Nano Bio Sensors (ripening sensor, mould sensor, temperature sensor etc.) Nano technology used in smart packaging to extend the shelf life of the product. The final package is 'smart' because it automatically regulates oxygen ingress and carbon dioxide egress by transpiration according to the prevailing temperature. In this way, an optimum atmosphere is maintained around the product during storage and distribution, extending freshness and allowing shipping of higher quality products to the consumer.  Intelligent packaging were used Ripening detector sensors to detect the quality of inner packed product, can change color to let the customer know how fresh the food is and show if the food has been spoiled because of a change in temperature during storage or a leak in the packaging. Nowadays printed sensors  were available to reduce the cost factors related using nanotechnology in fresh mango packaging for export but still expensive.  The overall application of nanotechnology restricted due to cost factor in India. But this development in packaging technology appreciated by the developing countries. b. Nanotech mango boxes to reduce fruit losses  Mangoes loved by consumers, but so difficult to transport. An i n t e r n a t i o n a l t e a m o f researchers has developed special packaging that will help ensure mangoes reach their destination in prime condition. The researchers, from Canada,  Sri Lanka and India, discovered that a natural compound called hexanal delays the ripening of mangoes. From there, they used nanotechnology to develop h e x a n a l - i m p r e g n a t e d packaging and biowax coatings to improve the fruit's resilience and shipping.  The team is now expanding its work to include other fruit and look at ways to commercialize the technologies.  Bio-based plastic as packaging material for fresh fruit a. PLA b. Starch c. Chitosan

Types of transportation for mango export

Figure: Nano bio sensor used to detect the quality of fresh mango

  1. Air cargo : Standard transportation way of mango by air freight, Short transport time, Limited storage capacity, relatively expensive. 2. Ocean cargo : Alternative transportation way of m a n g o b y m a r i n e ( r e e f e r ) shipments, Long transport time (2- 4 weeks), Lots of storage capacity, Less expensive, Excellent climate control (temp , relative humidity , & atmosphere), required cooling c h a m b e r s , d u e t o l o n g transportation time quality of end product often disappointing 3. Roadway transport: For Local transportation of mango generally roadways were used, due to poor quality of roads and trails, higher vibrations occurred at the time of transportation by Truck, vehicles,rails-transportation hazards observed. Ocean cargo used predominantly due to its cost effectiveness, and high storage capacity here one thing taken in consideration is mangos should be in unripe green stage of maturity, because ocean cargo takes longer time for transit than air cargo.


Adopting improved packaging, handling and transportation methods during distribution and marketing can successfully reduce huge pre harvest and post-harvest losses, as well as increase the productivity, quality and shelf life of the fresh mango produce. If proper care is taken from harvesting to final marketing to the consumers, considerable amount of losses can be reduced and better quality fruits can reach to the consumer which can help

the growers to get satisfactory

Figure: Transportation of fresh, roadway mango produce

Food Packaging



 handbook Post- Harvest Manual for Export of 

Mangoes, APEDA, New Delhi 

mango to USA 

mangoes  package system and Interfacing gma pallet that allows a paper corrugated tray with a 4 kg weight capacity for imported mangoes  

Research 

Research Institute (CFTRI)  Agricultural export transportation Guidelines for export of Indian Exploring packaging options of Development of new standardized Indian Institute of Horticulture Central Food Technological

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