Pakistan's mango exports in hot water

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Pakistan's mango exports in hot water

As the ban on Indian mangoes into the European market officially starts, looks into the system of hot water treatment used in neighboring Pakistan. Durrani Associates works alongside a Pakistani government department to operate a common facility used to treat and cleanse mangoes and other produce, before they are shipped to a raft of countries around the world.

Concerns in Pakistan have been heightened recently amid the controversial ban on Indian mangoes exported to the EU. Keen not to suffer a similar fate to their counterparts over the border, the Pakistani mango export industry is promoting the use of the horti-fresh processing hot water treatment (HWT) facility in the capital Karachi. Hortifresh sq

Here mangoes go through a thorough cleaning system where they are treated in hot water at temperatures of around 48°C (118.4°F) for approximately an hour, dried, packed and cold treated.

The project has been approved by importing countries including Australia, South Korea, Mauritius, Lebanon, and the facility is open to all in the fresh produce exporting trade.

CEO of Pak Horti Fresh Processing Pvt Ltd, the company operating the facility, is Babar Durrani who explained how the hot water treatment helps prolong the life of mangoes. He said the fruit was highly perishable and could often be spoiled or become at risk of contamination en route to an importing country.

"One of the greatest achievements of the Durrani Group of companies is that we have found a breakthrough in the hot water and wax treatment of mango that enhances the shelf life of the product by as much as 35 days," Durrani says.

"This is a feat that other are still trying to achieve. We can now capitalize on their attained competitive advantage by exporting processed mango by sea freight instead of air freight and keep the product fresh for 35 days, fulfilling all SPS requirements in Europe, the U.S., Middle East, China and the Far East."

The executive also highlights the company's expertise and ability to meet the standards of a wide range of destination countries.

"We have vast experience in knowledge and mango pathology, farming and processing and have pioneered cold chain and reefer container shipments from Pakistan," he says.

"We have excellent knowledge of the sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards of all major mango markets and have the quarantine departments of Pakistan, Australia, China, South Korea, Mauritius, Iran, Lebanon, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, USA and Jordan.

"Most importantly we have gained a tremendous competitive advantage by ascertaining the right formulation of wax/shellac for mango hot dip processing that has enabled them to increase the shelf life of mango."

He says there are nine kinds of diseases in mangoes which can be eliminated through the use of hot treatment, which is used by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other countries who want their markets' mangoes to be disease-free.

The Indian mango ban, which began on May 1 and is due to last until December 2015, came about after the EU had 'serious concerns' over mangoes contaminated with non-European fruit flies.

Four other food categories are also banned including two types of gourd, eggplant and the taro plant. According to the European Commission pests were discovered in 207 consignments of fresh produce imported to European from India last year.

Since broke the story on March 26, we have continued to follow the impact of the ban which has turned into a controversy not only in India, but in the U.K. and Europe, with many importers, retailers, growers and politicians branding the prohibition as a punitive and over-reactionary measure.

Last week we also ran a story about one woman’s campaign to 'Reverse the mango ban'. Monica Bhandari spoke at length about her thoughts on the ban and how retailers in the U.K. as well as Indian mango farmers would suffer. She says India already uses hot water treatment to cleanse mangoes before they are dispatched.

We would like to hear from anyone in India who is connected with HWT. Please contact us at

Photo: Horti Fresh

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