Andhra Pradesh

This Andhra Pradesh mango is diabetic-friendly

Kongara Ramesh at his farm at Tarluvada on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam.

Kongara Ramesh at his farm at Tarluvada on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam.  

When the sweet aroma of mangoes spreads, diabetics are in a dilemma whether to savour it or not. “Will my sugar level shoot up? Should I skip a meal?” These are the common questions that cross their minds, and more often than not, they avoid eating the king of fruit.

Well, here is a good news for diabetics. Kongara Ramesh, a progressive farmer of Tarluwada village, near Anandapuram on the outskirts of the city, has developed a mango variety with low levels of sugar.

“The total soluble sugar (TSS) of this variety is only 16 as against 20 and 25 that of common mango varieties. Despite being low in sugar, the taste is fine,” he told The Hindu at his farm recently.

The tree, which grows up to a height of 10 feet, can be grown even on a rooftop by pruning the branches. Despite its small size, each tree yields 300 to 400 fruits. The seed is small, like that of an almond, the skin is thin and the pulp quantity ranges between 80% and 85%, occupying a greater part of the fruit.

Cross breeding

“We have developed this fruit by crossing Rumani variety (grown in Puttur region) with a cross-bred variety, we had developed at our farm. We have a single tree, and the maiden yield, last year, was 300 mangoes. The fruits are yellow in colour and weighs 200 gram each,” he said.

The Horticulture Research Station at Sangareddy has certified that this variety has only 16 TSS. Some of the other varieties, developed by Mr. Ramesh, have also been certified by the ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) and Murali Mohan Challa, an Associate Professor of Biotechnology at GITAM Deemed to be University, in the past.

“We are trying to develop a few other varieties of mangoes with red colour while keeping the TSS low and ensuring ripening of the fruit on the tree itself to avoid artificial ripening. At present, we are marketing Swagatham and Amrutham varieties,” said Mr. Ramesh.

“The Swagatam and Amrutam varieties of mangoes are being marketed for a long time and command a very good price in the market. Amrutam, a cross between Amrapalli and Chinna Rasalu, is very sweet, but can be stored at freezing temperature for four to five months. A stick can be pierced into the fruit and eaten like an ice cream. We sold this variety for ₹700 a kg in New Delhi in the past,” said Mr. Ramesh.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 4:55:02 PM |

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