How many of us froze a lot of mangoes last summer and are now finding that not only have the frozen fruit been using up premium space in the deep freeze, but also the flavour disappears with the defrosting.

During the freezing and thawing processes, chemical changes occur in the fruit that affect taste, texture and appearance. Texture alone (for example 'slushiness') is enough on it's own to put one off eating. Bananas and mangoes darken rapidly when sliced and frozen due to oxidising enzymes.

However, in the case of mango (it works equally well with pineapple), sprinkling the fruit with sugar, or covering it in syrup before freezing ensures good colour and flavour. Adding a minute amount of ascorbic acid to the syrup helps retain the original flavour of the fruit and results in a more desirable texture.

But getting back to all those trays of frozen mango that you have decided for one reason or another you aren't too keen about after all. How about fruit drinks? Don't forget to add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sugar for a tangy, refreshing drink. Mango milk shakes can be prepared in a blender in a jiffy. But best of all, if you have a food dehydrator, thaw out the mango, puree it and make it into fruit leathers (*Ol i kolim, rollups). They taste great and keep for months, taking up no space at all. They are healthy snacks for the kids and satisfy their craving for something sweet, too.

*Ol i Kolim PNG pidgin for 'namely' or otherwise known as, literal translation, 'everybody calls it'.

Port Curtis Branch July 1991

DATE: November 1991

* * * * * * * * * * * * *