London, May 11: Scientists have for the first time identified a way to ‘sniff’ the ripeness of mangoes without the need for tasting the popular tropical fruit. Researchers from University of Leicester in the UK identified the unique chemical signature of ripening for mangoes. “Mangoes are one of the most important and popular tropical fruits with India producing approximate 40 per cent of the world’s supply,” said Paul Monks from University of Leicester.(Also Read: 10 healthy reasons to eat mangoes)

“It is really important for people to be able to tell how ripe fruit is without having to taste it. This is important for fruit producers and supermarkets,” said Monks. Researchers used a novel fast-sensitive “electronic-nose” for sniffing volatiles compounds from the ripening fruit. Popular supermarket species of mango were used.

In particular, the work showed that an increase in ester compounds – the smell of pear drops – was a particular marker of over ripe fruit, researchers said. The work has for the first time, followed in real-time and detail the chemical signatures of ripening for mangoes, they said. The findings were published in the journal Metabolomics.