Unsightly mango disease on the rise

Countryman

An unsightly disease in mangoes is on the rise in the Eastern states, with growers describing the increase as the biggest threat to the nation's mango industry.

ABC Radio reports this morning that resin canal has been found in mangoes sold at the Melbourne and Sydney markets this week.

The mystery disorder causes black streaks to break out on the skin of the fruit, with veins appearing in the flesh.

The defect appears in mangoes as they ripen, and although it doesn't affect the eating quality, it causes a number of aesthetic problems, ABC reports.

Sydney based wholesaler Carlo Ceravolo told ABC Radio that resin canal was appearing on more fruit and consumers were shying away from the product.

"Over the last three or four years we've watched it get worse and certainly this year it's clearly visible," he said. "This resin canal is such an insipid-looking disease and customers just won't go near it, even though the eating quality is not affected."

Tim Elliott, who runs a mango packing shed near Darwin, said resin canal was the biggest threat to Australia's mango industry.

Mr Elliott is personally funding research on the disease but believes the industry should be doing more.

"We need people on the ground. We need a number of investigations into the number of possibilities," he told ABC Radio. "Queensland has highlighted a number of causes, but it all takes time.

"The season is very short. We need to get people on the ground now and we need to have a look at it, because this is costing livelihoods everywhere.

"Early reports from the Melbourne markets are showing 18 per cent of the growers are being affected (by resin canal), with up to 50 per cent of their fruit per tray being affected," he said.

Earlier this year, Brisbane markets wholesaler John Nardi told Mango World magazine that resin canal was appearing on the fruit just as it started to ripen.

He said it was the biggest issue facing the mango industry.

"It virtually rots the fruit and it's unsaleable," Mr Nardi said.

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