June 20th, 2014
The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has approved the initial part of a study on large Peruvian mangoes to see if they can be rendered safe for import.
Peruvian Mango Exporters Association (APEM) general manager Juan Carlos Rivera told www.freshfruitportal.com he was very positive the mangoes weighing between 650-900 grams (22.9-31.7 ounces) would meet U.S. trade requirements.
“[The study shows] conclusively that the hydrothermal hot water treatment is effective in eliminating 99.99% of the fruit fly larvae risk,” Rivera said.
“Now what APHIS is going to do is consult the public regarding this issue. A public consulation for this would last around 60 days. If there were no comments, then APHIS could incorporate permission into the regular Peruvian mango trade framework.
According to Rivera, the APEM and Peru’s National Agriculture Health Service (SENASA) have been conducting tests over roughly five years to show immersion in hot water for mangoes between 650 and 900 grams was effective.
He went on to explain different sized mangoes required different treatment protocols, with those at the lower end of the scale coming in at 350-500 grams needing 75 minutes, while the larger ones which are being tested now needed 110 minutes to eliminate any pests.
In the U.S. there are two niche markets for Peruvian mangoes – one is for supplies in restaurants and hotels and the one is the pre-cut and ready-to-eat sector.
“The hotel and restaurant market isn’t very new, but the second one is has only been around for five years in the supermarkets. Neither industry has too much of an interest in appearance, especially in the fruit’s pulp,” Rivera said.
The large-sized mangoes are already being exported to Europe, and still are still subjected to hot water treatment as a precaution despite it not being an EU requirement.