The gumminess texture of fresh mangoes could be improved through the presence of an enzyme involved in the breakdown of plant cell walls and in combination with calcium chloride.
Scientists from the department of food science at the University of Georgia in the US infused a common variety of mangoes found extensively on the supermarket shelves with pectinesterase (PME) and calcium chloride. Their findings suggest the texture of Kent mango is most likely moderated by changes in the solubility of insoluble pectin or by non-pectin components in the cell wall.
"Temperature gradient infusion with PME and/or calcium chloride increased gumminess and chewiness, but had no impact on hardness and adhesiveness," report the researchers in the September issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
As well as its role in fruit ripening, pectinesterase often interferes with the subsequent processing of fruit products. An understanding of its action would, therefore, further basic research and bring commercial benefits to the food industry.
According to the US scientists, the distribution of pectic substances, such as protopectin or alkaline soluble pectin, was approximately twice that of water- or chelator-soluble pectin. The degree of esterification of water- and chelator-soluble pectic substances was near to 50-60 per cent, and less than 10 per cent, respectively.
"The initial hardness of Kent mango was variable, and differences in distribution of pectic substances were observed," they add.
Full findings are published in the September 2004, Volume 84, Issue 12 of theJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.