Why Won’t My Mangoes Ripen (5 Reasons)

Mangoes can take a very long time to ripen if refrigerated when unripe, cut before maturing, or due to poor distribution process by marketers.

However, you can still use unripe mangoes in various ways or speed up the ripening process.

So, continue with this article to learn the different reasons your mango is still unripe and how to put that unripe mango to good use. 

5 Reasons Why Your Mangoes Aren’t Ripening

I’ve discussed some of the primary reasons why your mangoes aren’t ripening below.

Plucked Too Early

Mangoes must have taken the proper nutrients from their mother tree before plucking. When mango is picked at a very unripe stage, it might not ripen. When it ripens, the process takes a lot of time.

A mango like this one would have been plucked too early if picked now

The best time to pick a mango is 100 days after its flowering. At this stage, the mango is mature and has enough nutrients to aid ripening. 

As an exclusion, you can pluck a mango a little before 100 days if you would be transporting it. That way, it doesn’t ripen in transit and can ripen at the destination.

You’re Missing The Ripening Cues

Some mangoes stay green when mature, so you may not know they’re ripe for consumption. Likewise, if you’re familiar with other mangoes, you may think all are the same and miss the ripening cues for the variety you have in hand.

Here’s an overview of mango variety ripening colors and cues, covering the common mangoes and what color changes to expect.

You Refrigerated the Mango

Mangoes need heat to produce ethylene gas for ripening. If you put this mango inside a refrigerator, the temperature lowers beyond the threshold where the mango can produce enough ethylene to aid its maturation. Thus, slowing the process. 

So, it’s advisable only to refrigerate a mango when it’s ripe to preserve it.

You’ve Cut the Mango

When you cut into an unripe mango, you slow its ripening process. This is because the exposed cut section of the mango alters the ripening and may cause the mango to start decaying from the open area. 

However, the mango can still be salvaged.

Wrap the cut section in a plastic/food wrap, and put it beside a banana to speed up its ripening before the exposed parts decay.

Poor Distribution Process

The distribution process can also slow down a mango’s ripening. 

You already know that mangoes must stay on their tree for a minimum of 100 days after flowering begins. But when it’s to be distributed, farmers and wholesalers can have them plucked earlier. 

Most mangoes in stores are timed such that they don’t ripen from the time of picking through transportation till they get to stores

In this case, it’s recommended that distributors store the mango at a temperature of 12.2-degree Celsius.

However, some distributors might go for a lesser temperature to prevent loss due to over-ripening. When you purchase this type of mango, it’s expected 2-3 days of ripening might be extended to five days.

Thus, it’s best to learn how to pick the best mangoes in grocery stores. That way, you stand a higher chance of gaging the ripeness levels and choosing the ones you want.

What to Do With Unripe Mangoes

You don’t have to discard your unripe mangoes that take too long to ripen. There are several dishes you can make with it or dishes you can add the mango to.

Below are some of your options.

Cook With Sugar Syrup 

You can turn your unripe mango into syrup. You can add this syrup to coffee, use it as a topping, and even replace your maple syrup. 

Follow the steps below to cook the mango with sugar syrup:

  1. Wash, peel, and dice the mango into a clean bowl.
  2. Add the diced mango into a pot with white sugar, vanilla extract, and water.
  3. Bring it to a boil.
  4. While reducing the heat, stir it together and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain the mango juice and let it cool.
  6. Pour into a jug and refrigerate.

Make Mango Puree 

You can process your unripe mango into a mango puree. 

The fastest way to make mango puree is to

  1. Peel the skin of the washed mango. 
  2. Blend the mango.
  3. Leave it in your freezer. 

Depending on your taste, you may also choose to cook the mango into puree form. I found short, helpful videos on both approaches for you.

Blend your mango into a puree:

Cook the mango into puree:

If the mango puree tastes a little sour, you can add sugar or citrus to your liking.

Prepare Mango Chutney 

Mango chutney is another way to process unripe mango. The chutney can be served along with meat, cheese or used as a sandwich spread. 

The preparation method is as follows:

  1. Wash, peel and dice the unripe mango into a clean bowl.
  2. Mix sugar and vinegar in a clean pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Add your diced mango, chopped onion, ginger, golden raisins, garlic, mustard, and pepper flake to the mix.
  4. Leave the pot uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the syrup is thick.
  5. Pour syrup into a jar and store.

Make Mango-Flavored Fruit Juice 

Mango-flavored fruit juice is a sweet, savory drink you can make with unripe mango. This drink can replace orange juice or other beverages you take when eating. 

Follow these easy steps to make a savory mango tang:

  1. Add sugar to water and boil.
  2. Squeeze one lemon into the boiling water.
  3. Add your diced mango into the boiling mix.
  4. Cook for one minute, then pour into a bowl to cool.
  5. Sieve the mix to separate the mango.
  6. You can add some ice cubes to the tang to make it chilled.

Make Pickled Mango 

Pickled mango can be combined with salads, sandwiches, or fish tacos. The primary ingredients are mango, sugar, balsamic vinegar, and kosher salt. 

Here’s how to make the best pickled mangoes yet:

  1. Mix sugar, water, vinegar, and salt in boiling water.
  2. Stir constantly to dissolve the ingredients.
  3. Remove the mixture from the fire and let it cool for 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Put cut mango slices inside a jar and pour the mixture inside.
  5. Seal the jar and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours before serving.

Add Mango Tang to Dishes

Unripe mangoes have a stronger tangy taste than ripe ones. Thus, they’re the best to introduce the signature mango taste to your means.

While this indicates the mango’s acidity levels, you should know that mangoes are alkaline-forming. Also, your meal and cooking will most likely neutralize the acidity. So, nothing to worry about there.

Don’t Discard That Mango!

Before you throw a mango away simply because it won’t ripen, ensure to have gone through everything on this list first. Fortunately, there are ways to eat unripe mangoes that you may even consider in this case.

Try any of these methods first, and you won’t have to waste good fruit.

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