This season’s objective reporting system has already commenced. In the past two seasons we have used refractometers to measure brix when the mango is at the eating ripe stage. This season we are transitioning to using F-750 Produce Quality Meters, which uses near-infrared technology (NIR) technology, to measure dry matter at any stage of ripeness. The key benefit of measuring dry matter using a meter, compared to measuring brix using a refractometer, is that the testing is non-destructive. As each meter needs to be calibrated for each variety before it is used, the samples collected early in the season will still be tested using refractometers, then as the meters are calibrated they will be used.
Process of sampling, testing and reporting
In the early part of the season, prior to calibration of the F-750 Produce Quality Meters, we will continue to use refractometers to measure brix—in line with the previously published sampling and testing method.
Objective reporting is a key component of the Australian mango industry’s program to closely align the eating quality of Australian mangoes with consumer’s expectations. Consumer research identified that consumer satisfaction is closely aligned with sweetness of ripe mangoes. Therefore, the industry has adopted and promoted the minimum standard for mangoes according to cultivar.
To understand industry compliance with these recommendations, the industry undertakes random sampling of consignments at the three major wholesale markets (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne), to measure the maturity of fruit and to report the results together with identification of grower and region in industry communications.
The testing is undertaken by third party service providers using a written procedure for sampling and measuring dry matter using a F-750 Produce Quality Meter. To ensure accurate measurement the industry provides pre-season training to the service providers on procedures, use, calibration of equipment, data collection and reporting. Further the industry undertakes a mid-season audit to ensure the accuracy of results and reporting.
Sampling of consignment
Sampling of a minimum of 30 fruit per consignment are drawn from a commercial consignment of mangoes. The fruit must be representative of the grades and sizes available for sale in the sampled consignment. The sample is identified with a unique code that identifies the grower, region and sample date. Grades and sizes of mangoes must be consistent with the consignment available for sale. For example if the predominant sizes in the consignment are counts 14 to 18, then the sample should be consistent with mangoes of these sizes.
Testing should be undertaken where the fruit is sampled (e.g. in a wholesaler’s warehouse, or in a retailer distribution centre). A minimum of 30 pieces of fruit sampled from at least six (6) trays should be sampled and tested.
Dry matter measurement
Dry matter is measured as a percentage using NIR technology. The F-750 Produce Quality Meter will be used to assess dry matter. Both cheeks of each mango will be sampled and the results of the two tests averaged. The average is the result recorded for that mango.
Position of sampling
The position of sampling on the cheek should be mid-point between stem end and nose.
The results (average for each mango) are recorded. The record also needs to document the following information:
- Grower name: need image of end panel of at least one tray/carton confirming name from which fruit is sampled.
- Variety: photo of sample of mangoes collected for assessment.
- Market location.
- Pack date.
- Date sampled and tested.
- Sample number.
- Fruit class.
- Skin colour (1 to 6).
- Dry matter.
- Name of assessor.
- Once the testing has been undertaken and the results compiled for each sample, these results are emailed to the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA).
- AMIA receives results, reviews and summarises for publication in My Mango.
- Where a testing result (average of 30 pieces of fruit) for the sample is below the industry standard, the grower of the sampled mangoes is contacted, prior to publication of the sample test results.
- Contact with the grower will be by phone in the first instance. In the event of being unable to contact the grower by phone, an email will be sent to the grower advising the result of the objective reporting.
- A detailed report of the sample will be sent to the grower (individual results from each of the 30 mangoes sampled and an image of the end panel of one of the trays from the consignment).
- If the grower is concerned that the fruit sampled was not representative of the consignment, AMIA may agree not to publish the first result, and rather, a second sample from the same (or following consignment) may be collected and tested.
- The result of the second test will then be published (if applicable). In the event the result of the second test is below the industry standard, this information will be communicated to the grower prior to publication.