King of fruits hits markets early

King of fruits hits markets early

Soon ripe, soon rotten: Pricey premature fruits neither tasty nor healthy, say experts

King of fruits hits markets early

 A month before the peak mango season, the king of fruits has hit markets early this year with royal pricing.However, experts opine that these early fruits are neither good for health nor tasty.Vendors who have stocked up huge quantities of the fruit, both ripe and unripe, quote anywhere between Rs 90 and Rs 130 for a kg. During the peak season, the fruit is priced almost at half the price it is sold now.

Ideally, the unripe fruits hit the market in midsummer, while the naturally ripened varieties come weeks later. But this time around, in places such as Bengaluru, Mysuru and surrounding areas, mangoes were found on market shelves as early as February.

Dr S V Hittalmani, former senior assistant director, Horticulture Department, said that those purchasing the fruits, available off season, will have to be ready for a compromise not just on taste but also health. “It is true that mangoes are not sprayed with as much chemicals as on grapes or apples. But chemicals are used to preserve them for longer durations or to ripen them quickly. This will certainly affect one’s health,” he said.

The latter part of April, May and early June is the ideal period for consumption of mango, experts say. Besides a slash in the rates, consumers will also get the benefit of the naturally ripened variety.“I purchased a few mangoes from Mysuru last night. They were not only expensive, they also did not taste good. A good quantity of the fruit is seen in Bengaluru and Mysuru already,” Hittalmani said.

This year, variations have also been observed in the flowering season, he said. While the flowering must ideally happen between December and January, flowering was noticed even after February. “This could be attributed to climatic changes,” he said.Experts predict that following the off-season rains, the price of the fruit will be 20 to 30 per cent higher.

With the European Union lifting the ban on mangoes, all measures will be taken to ensure that the best quality product is exported, say sources in the Horticulture department.

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