First shipments of irradiated mangoes from Pakistan should arrive in May and June, and one leading mango industry source said in March the expects the fruit will score in the flavor department.
“The big debate in the mango industry has been the flavor issue and that has been driven by varieties that could withstand the hot-water treatment process,” said Will Cavan, executive director of Vista, Calif.-based International Mango Organization.
Cavan said the International Mango Organization is composed of mango marketers who have been seeking access to the U.S. market, including growers from South Africa, India and Pakistan.
“Countries like India and Pakistan have irradiation facilities, Vietnam is shipping using electronic irradiation and Hawaii ships to the U.S. with irradiation,” he said. “Now the consumer can focus on flavor instead of varieties that can withstand hot water treatment.”
India has been shipping irradiated mangoes to the U.S. for a few years, shipping 577 metric tons to the U.S. in 2010 up from 316 metric tons in 2009.
Still, light shipments from India and Pakistan are just a drop in the bucket compared with total U.S. mango imports.
Overall U.S. mango imports in 2010 were 355,000 metric tons, with Mexico accounting for 239,000 metric tons.
Pakistani mangoes will be coming into the U.S. in May and June. The fruit will be flown into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and trucked to the Sadex Corporation in Sioux City, Iowa, for irradiation.