The Mango Export Community Enterprise Bang Phae District, Ratchaburi Province was founded in 2012. The enterprise produces around 200 tons of mango fruits annually, on the area of 58 rai (9.28 ha), for both domestic and export markets. Russia and countries in the Middle East are among its export markets. Both ThaiGAP and GMP standards have been adopted.
The enterprise contacted the Innovation and Technology Assistance Program (ITAP) of NSTDA for a consultation to find an alternative fruit ripening agent to calcium carbide that it had been using. Calcium carbide is commonly used for artificial ripening of fruits due to economic price and market availability. However, its use is discouraged worldwide due to its side effects to human health.
In 2019, ITAP supported the project by providing an expert and a grant to implement the solution. The enterprise worked with Dr. Peerapong Sangwanangkul, expert at the Postharvest Technology Center, Kasetsart University who introduced ethylene gas treatment for fruit ripening process. A 30-cubic-meter ethylene ripening chamber was built. The chamber has a capacity to treat 3 tons of mango fruits and each treatment lasts 24 hours. In addition to safety, fruits ripened with ethylene gas are firmer and tastier with a longer storage life than those treated with calcium carbide. With the new ripening agent, the enterprise saw the improvement in the product loss from 12% to 7%, and the sales have nearly doubled due to improved fruit quality. This year, the enterprise was chosen by Central Food Retail – the largest supermarket chain in Thailand - to supply mangoes for Central’s house brand “My Choice” known for premium quality products.