Dried Mango and Sodium Metabisulfite

dried mango with metabisulfite

I am on the hunt. I am looking for dried mangoes without preservative of any sort. Sugar is exception of course. Rare ripe mangoes are used for this. No enough developed sugar yet so addition maybe necessary.

What I never wanted to see on label is the word “sodium metabisulfite”. However, all the brands I saw have it.  Others have word “treated with sulfur dioxide” instead. It is just the same. The preservative which has a general safety limit of 0.1 percent reacts with acid, forming sulfur dioxide. It is a harmful and irritating gas which may escape or bind to food components.

dried mango with metabisulfite

Perhaps the probability of finding one is near to zero. The bright yellow mango color which make it very attractive changes during processing. The phenomenon called browning reaction turns the lovely yellow to ugly brown. The addition of sodium metabisulfite prevents it from happening. Dried mango retains its beautiful yellow color. Pleasing to the eye of choosy consumers.

Is brown ugly? No, it is not! We are not going to eat chocolates and breads if the case is true. We found brown dried mango ugly because we are not accustomed to it. We may feel the same for yellow chocolate. Chocolates are naturally brown and we’ll find it odd if it becomes yellow all of a sudden.

I think it is just a matter of educating consumer. Make them aware that browning of dried mango is natural, never affect flavor in any aspect and free from harmful preservative. Buyers will eventually accept it and will soon prefer brown dried mangoes over the original yellow.

Are you curious about pink chocolate? Probably! However, if the creator never did a good marketing campaign, your reaction is surely negative.

Going back to my hunting. I have two options. Ask a manufacturer to make it for me or do it myself. The first usually requires huge volume way beyond my requirements. I guess my best bet is option two, then jump to option one when the demand permits.

Preventing the browning without any preservative?

I tried making dried mangoes several times for demonstration purposes. It turn brown when cooked for too long. Short cooking time preserves color. Also no browning occurred when drying under full sunlight. Perhaps the more expensive vacuum equipped oven and freeze dryers may prevent unwanted discoloration.


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