Physical injury reduction in mango fruit using improved harvesting methods

Mohamed E. Elkashif, Tawhida B. Mohamed, Osman M. Elamin


The traditional method of harvesting mango fruit in the Sudan is done by snapping the fruits by a hook attached to a long pole. The drop of fruits to the ground causes bruises and injuries to the fruits, making them unattractive and unmarketable with a short shelf-life. An experiment was conducted in a private orchard along the Blue Nile bank, Gezira State, Sudan, during the seasons 2012 and 2013. The objective of this work was to find out the effects of an improved picking pole and fruit receiving treatments on the reduction of harvest losses in fruits of three mango cultivars. Treatments consisted of three mango cultivars, namely, Abu Samaka, Alphonse and Kitchener, two types of picking poles; the traditional picking pole and improved picking pole and four  treatments: The fruits were dropped directly on the ground (control), fruits were received on either a stretched sheet of cloth, a sponge mattress or a long tapering plastic mesh sleeve fixed to a ring attached to the picking poles. Treatments were arranged in a split-split plot design with three replicates. Cultivars were assigned to the main plots, picking poles to the sub-plots and receiving treatments to the sub-sub plots. Results showed that the improved picking pole resulted in significantly lower weight loss as compared to the traditional picking pole. The cultivar Abu Samaka showed significantly higher weight loss as compared to the other two cultivars. The highest percentage of weight loss was obtained when the fruits were allowed to fall directly on the ground (control), followed by the sheet of cloth and finally sponge mattress, whereas the long sleeve treatment resulted in the lowest weight loss. The improved picking pole resulted in the lowest physical injury, while the traditional picking pole resulted in the highest.



The improved picking pole equipped with a long sleeve resulted in the lowest physical injury, followed by the sheet of cloth treatment, the sponge mattress, whereas, dropping the fruits directly on the ground resulted in the highest physical injury. Abu Samaka cultivar had the highest percentage of physical injury, followed by Alphonse and then Kitchener cultivar. Shelf-life was significantly extended by using the improved picking pole coupled with receiving fruits in the long sleeve. However, the long sleeve fruit receiving treatment took the longest time to harvest 100 mango fruits under both types of picking poles. It is recommended to harvest mango fruits using the improved picking pole coupled with receiving fruits in a long plastic mesh sleeve for the reduction of harvest losses.

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