One of the most important problems in the fruit industry is that, in general, the period when the market demand is the greatest is not usually the period when the production is the heaviest.
In the latter period, surpluses far exceed the off-take capacity of the usual markets.
This is particularly so in mango where regular, annual crops are so rare that in the years of heavy crops, the growers are often forced to resort to distress sales.
Long time storage under such conditions is inevitable.
Further, with the expansion of fruit processing industry, storage is becoming an important factor in the operation of the processing plant at a uniform rate.
Cold storage and application of skin coatings to control the ripening processes and reduce aging and water loss have been investigated in mango in India in the past two decades, to develop efficient storage practices.
Kirpal Singh et al (9) found that the optimum temperature for cold storage of Totapuri (Bangalora) mangoes was 42–45° F at 85–90 per cent R.H., the storage life being seven weeks.
Although the loss in weight was the least at 35–38°F, this temperature range caused more wastage by low temperature injury and fungus diseases.
According to Gandhi (1) fully mature Alphonso mangoes could be stored at 45–48°F for seven weeks but below this range, the fruit is injured resulting in failure to ripen properly when shifted to room temperature.
Mathur and Subramanjam (4) investigated the effect of a fungicidal wax coating on Badami (Alphonso) mangoes.
The study was made of fruits dipped in aqueous solutions of fungicidal wax emulsion containing 1.7, 2.2 and 2.7 per cent solids and 5 per cent ortho-phenyl-phenol, and stored at 79–86°F and R.H. 55–87 per cent.
The physiological loss in weight was found to decrease with increasing quantities of solids in the wax emulsion.
At the end of 20 days storage, the percentage wastage due to disease was significantly lower in wax emulsion with 2.7 per cent solids.
This treatment increased the storage life in non-refrigerated storage about 50 per cent.
Sing (10) in his book has reviewed the work done on cold storage of mangoes in India and at Trinidad.
The main points brought out in the review are that different varieties required different storage temperature below which chilling injury occurred.
Fruits kept in perforated polyethylene bags ripened very steadily at low temperature but unpacked mangoes suffered badly from immediate rotting on removal from cold storage, due probably to chilling injury.
Several varieties, found otherwise quite suitable for cold storage showed chilling injury at 40–45°F. According to Singh (10) different varieties showed a variation in the critical temperature which lies between 40–45°F and wastage due to chilling may be avoided by keeping the fruits above this range.