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Good News Everywhere! From Honolulu to Ho Chi Minh City and from Melbourne to Mumbai irradiated fruits are making their way to consumers worldwide. And consumers are loving it! 

The USDA continues to sign Framework Equivalency Work Plans (FEWPs) with countries around the globe. The latest to join this elite group are Australia and the Dominican Republic. 

By signing the agreement each country agrees to open up their markets to each others irradiated produce. 

In most cases irradiation is at the top of the list of phytosanitary interventions to halt the spread of harmful pests. 

Twelve countries have signed FEWPs; Thailand, India, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, South Africa, Pakistan, Peru, Australia and Dominican Republic.


 By Ronald F. Eustice

Indians love their mangoes!

Dr. Bhaskar Savani played a leading role in lifting the US ban on importation of Indian

Dr. Bhaskar Savani (center) with his brothers on the day Indian mangoes arrived in the US for the first time in almost two decades.

Now that Indian mangoes have been on U.S. supermarkets shelves for nine seasons, Savani is on the leading edge of another campaign -- making the fruit more accessible.

Savani is a dentist by trade, but that's just a day job. To find out what really drives him -- what has made him something of an evangelist in recent years -- ask him about mangoes. 

Specifically, mangoes grown in his native India, where the aromatic fruit is both ubiquitous and beloved. Savani says, "In India mangoes are not just food, they are a symbol of life."

The Asian Indian population in the US is estimated at more than three million and has nearly doubled since 2000. 

The Indian population in the United States grew from 1.7 million in 2000 (0.6% of U.S. population) to 2,843,391 in 2010 and now accounts for about 1 percent of total U.S. population. With an annual growth rate of 70% the Asian Indian population is one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States.

For more than two decades importation of mangoes from India into the United States was forbidden. The vast majority of Indians had no idea why their beloved mangoes were forbidden fruit. Some tried to pack a few in their luggage when they left India only to have their carefully packed mangoes confiscated by agriculture officials at US customs.

Bhaskar Savani came to the US in 1990 to complete his studies in dentistry. Savani and his family have a mango plantation in Amreli and Bhavnagar district in Gujarat, India, where they grow the Kesar variety of mangoes.

The Savani family owns a mango plantation in the Amreli and Bhavnagar distict in Gugarat, India.

When Savani arrived in the US, he quickly realized he couldn't find Indian mangoes in the supermarkets and mangoes from other countries didn't taste like they did in India.

Savani approached the USDA to ask why mangoes were prohibited. He was told that USDA had sent a letter to the Indian agricultural ministry asking how many pests and insects in India are likely to attack the mango. 

Someone in the Indian agricultural ministry said at least "200" but no one was prepared to provide the list.

Savani says, "In India, They had no idea how to tackle the USDA queries, but when I got involved, I went to the Indian agricultural universities and did research, we finally brought the number down to six. Savani says he became an entomologist of sorts not by choice but by necessity.

He says, "The USDA didn't have any information on the pests and needed data to see if how they react to gamma rays."

That was when he brought the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) into the picture. In India, he was told by Dr. Arun Sharma and others that there was an irradiation facility in Mumbai and that international experts had determined that irradiated food was safe under any dosage.

Savani went to USDA to tell them that India had an irradiation facility. The USDA gave the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) and the Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT) in India the go ahead for completing a Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) on Indian fruit to determine which pests were threats to US agriculture. They narrowed the list down from 200 to four.

Savani met with Dr. Paul Gadh at USDA and began to identify insects and weevils that were legitimate pests of concern. He returned to India and met with Dr. Sharma and identified insects to begin to determine the irradiation dose required to eliminate the pests.

He learned that South America has made a huge investment in hot water facilities. The hot water bath proponents worked hard to promote their technology and discourage use of irradiation. 

Savani says, "The quality of the mango is much better with irradiation than with hot water treatment. It is a shame that we used hot water to eliminate pests because it destroys quality and texture as well as the insects. Hot water decreases shelf life while irradiation extends shelf life."

Savani adds, "Increased shelf life is important because we ship our mangoes long distances."

Savani went to Florida to Dr. Carl Campbell, an entomologist at Florida State University to confirm what was learned in India.

About the same time the US was negotiating with India on certain trade protocols. 

In 2006, Prime Minister Singh spoke with President Bush and it seems that President Bush took up the charge to determine what it would take to eliminate the ban on Indian mangoes. 

They determined that insects are inactivated can be eliminated at 400 Gray or less. When President ate the mangoes he asked the question, "What do we need to do to get these mangoes into the US?" 

Indian officials and US trade representatives discussed of the size of the growing India Diaspora and the importance of trade.

Savani says, President George W. Bush took a personal interest in Indian mangoes. 

"But for President Bush, it would not have been possible in a million years to get the Indian mango to the US," Dr. Savani told India Post as he was on his way to attend a 'mango tasting' event jointly organized by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) in Washington DC on May 1, 2007. 

The US had stopped import of mangoes from India nearly two decades earlier, on grounds that Indian authorities had no protocol to mitigate pest risk concern for USA. Gamma radiation made it possible to mitigate any pest risk associated with mango.

Indian mangoes arrived in New York in April 2007 when Dr. Bhaskar Savani, the first Indian American to hold a USDA permit for importing the fruit from India, received his first shipment

Indian mangoes regained entry to the US market after a gap of 18 years. The 60 boxes of Alphonso and 90 boxes of Kesar variety of mangoes that Dr Savani imported arrived in 2007 packaged in beautiful boxes at the JFK international airport by Air India cargo. Dr. Savani immediately began to promote Indian mangoes at the International Mango Festival - an annual affair held in Florida, Miami.

Although Dr. Savani has been running a business exporting mangoes to Dubai for several years, his interest in wanting to bring the mango to the US is primarily to get Indian farmers to compete in the international market.

In 2015, over 500 metric tonnes of mangoes were imported into the US from India almost double the volume from previous years. Overall the taste of irradiated mangoes has been excellent. There are now four exporters shipping to the USA and other countries.

In the future mangoes will be packed with three to six to a package. Gift giving is important in the Indian culture.

Savani says "We have made much progress with packaging. In the future, we will pack three to six mangoes per package. The future is extremely bright with smaller packaging. He says the current box design 'suffocates' mangoes and must be changed."

Our biggest bottleneck is the irradiation facilities in India. USDA requires that a US inspector be present at the time of irradiation in India. 

He says, "The cost is almost $80,000 to keep the inspector in India 8 to 10 weeks."

A second irradiation facility in India has been completed in India but USDA has not yet approved it.

Savani is excited about another possibility. He says, "It is now possible to bring mangoes from India and irradiate them in USA. There are irradiation facilities here in the US that we can use. We have the potential to irradiate ten thousand tonnes of Indian mangoes in the US. Market demand is there. Indians are good at gift giving so the potential is enormous."

Retailers want consistent supply of high quality product. The challenge is to produce a consistent supply. Gamma irradiation produces a superior product. Savani says there have been no complaints about the irradiation process.

Thanks to Dr. Bhaskar Savani and irradiation, the King of Indian fruits are on US supermarket shelves and irradiation has become the preferred method of pest elimination to access markets worldwide.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…