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Maroon mango from South Africa could add extra month to Australia's mango season

Updated yesterday at 7:20pm

A Queensland farmer is growing a new breed of mango he hopes could extend Australia's mango season by an extra month, meaning consumers would have access to the fruit for nine months of the year.

But there is something else that makes this mango unique — the colour of its skin, which is a deep shade of maroon.

"Its main attribute is it is bright maroon. It's a very unique colour," grower Gavin Scurr, from Wamuran, north of Brisbane, said.

"They are a similar size and shape to Kensington Prides, however externally they are purple rather than yellow."

The flesh of the mango is still the usual yellow and orange colour.
A mango flavour 'the rest of the world enjoys'

It is known more formally as the princess mango, and was bred in South Africa using mango varieties from Central America.

"The flavour is more like an American mango, so it has a bit more of 'turpy' type taste," Mr Scurr said.

00:00 AUDIO: Marty McCarthy reports on a Queensland farmer who is growing the maroon 'princess' mango (ABC News)

"The ones I have tried have a lot of flavour, but it is different to what we are used to in Australia.

"It's just a more mango flavour that the rest of the world enjoys.

"It's actually got a fibreless flesh, so it's very smooth, so similar to a nectarine or a peach on the inside, so very easy on the palate."

However, do not expect the princess mango to be replacing the Kensington Pride, Australia's most popular mango variety, anytime soon.

PHOTO: Gavin Scurr owns the commercial rights to the princess mango in Australia. (ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

"By being visually different, people identify they're not Kensington Pride and they certainly taste nothing like Kensington Prides," Mr Scurr said.

"But I don't think they will take the place of KPs. However, later in the season when there are no KPs, this will be a viable alternative."

Mr Scurr's company, Piñata Farms, owns the commercial rights to the princess mango in Australia, and has been growing it for three years.
Piñata Farms will give this year's crop to its existing customers to trial, but the future of the new mango in Australia comes down to the all-important taste test.

"Ultimately it comes down to taste. If people like them we will continue to grow them," Mr Scurr said.

"But if the flavour doesn't excite Australian consumers then it probably doesn't have a big future.

"If it proves a viable proposition to commercialise it, we will be asking other growers if they're interested in growing it."

Mangoes for nine months of the year

Australia's mango season begins around August and September in the Northern Territory and usually wraps up in southern states around March or April, where late season varieties are grown.

However, Mr Scurr said the princess mango could help to extend the season by an extra month.

"Potentially this variety could go through to April, or May further south," he said.

"Ten years ago most of the season was finished by Christmas, whereas now we push well into February, through extension of new growing regions and varieties.

"So if we can get mangoes for nine months of the year for Aussie consumers, I think that's fantastic."
PHOTO: The princess mango was bred in South Africa, using varieties from Central America. (ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

Southern states could grow maroon mango

The Princess mango could also mean southern states like South Australia get the chance to grow the popular summer fruit.

South Africa sits between the 34th parallel south and the Tropic of Capricorn, as does New South Wales and parts of Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

The princess mango was bred for those conditions, meaning it could also be adapted to suit southern Australian climates.

"South Africa is well south of the tropic of Capricorn, like we are here in south Queensland, so if it grows well there then it potentially will here," Mr Scurr said.

"In frost-free areas in Victoria and South Australia, it might have a place there too.

"However, as you push further south it is the winter that knocks mangoes around. They don't like it, and anything below 15 degrees mangos start stressing."

First posted yesterday at 3:17pm

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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…

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…

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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. 

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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…