The importance of Dry Matter

Dry matter is seen as the ‘building blocks’ for mango flavour, and by measuring it, we are assessing the maturity of a mango before it ripens.

Dry Matter is the total solids of a mango, or the mass when all the fluids have been removed and it is completely dry. The greater the dry matter, the more ‘building blocks’ the fruit has to develop high sugar and that distinct Australian mango flavour.

The importance of dry matter should not be underestimated. It has an enormous impact on the eating quality of a mango. Dry Matter continues to accumulate as a mango develops to a point of maturity, so fruit harvested before it is mature may not have enough ‘building blocks’ to convert into sugars and that full flavoured mango that the Australian public love.

AMIA Supply Development Manager Boyd Arthur said that this season, the industry focussed on dry matter because it is so important to the taste of a mango. “Dry Matter it contributes to a mangoes flavour, which is what keeps our consumers coming back for more throughout the season. This is why we need to deliver the best tasting mango possible. If we cannot deliver, they will stop buying mangoes,” he said.

This season, AMIA worked with the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries to provide a dry matter testing services to growers in the Darwin and Katherine regions during their harvest period. This service is now available to mango growers in the Mareeba region through the Queensland Department Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and AMIA.

To have fruit tested for dry matter, growers are required to select at least 10 pieces of fruit off from the next section of their farm to be harvested. To calculate dry matter, a sample of mango flesh is weighed. It is then placed in a drying oven and left for 12-24 hours at approximately 60°c to removed of all the water and weighed again. The weight of the dry matter that remains can be converted to a percentage of the original wet weight, this is the dry matter percentage (%dm). All results are emailed straight to growers within 48 hours of fruit sampling to direct growers on when, where and how to pick from season to season.

If you’re a grower in the Burdekin region, please contact Boyd Arthur, AMIA Supply Development Manager, to arrange to have the dry matter of your fruit tested. Phone Boyd on 0458 803 220 or email supply@mangoes.net.au.