Feb 28, 2024
University of Arkansas debuts Ozark Mango

The Arkansas Fruit Breeding Program has introduced the Ozark Mango. The fruit is actually a nectarine, named for its aroma and flavor.

Ozark Mango , the seventh nectarine introduced by the Arkansas Fruit Breeding Program, is a yellow-fleshed and standard-acid-level nectarine tailored for growers in the Southeast or Mid-South of the U.S.

Ozark-Mango-Arkansas nectarine
The Ozark Mango is a new nectarine from the Arkansas Fruit Breeding Program. University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture photo by Paden Johnson.

Margaret Worthington, director of the Fruit Breeding Program for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said in a news release that the Ozark is the “nectarine that I always look forward to picking and the one that I always bring home to my family.”

Ozark Mango is typically harvested around July 1 at the Fruit Research Station in Clarksville, Arkansas, which is similar to Bradley and about one week before Bowden and Amoore Sweet nectarines.

“Over 13 years of trials, Ozark Mango had an average Brix of 15%, indicating that it is very sweet,” Worthington said. “It also has a pleasant aroma and flavor that I would describe as ‘tropical’ or ‘mango-like’.”

A ripe Ozark Mango measures about 3 inches in diameter with about 65% of its surface taking on a blushed color. When sliced open, it reveals a “beautiful yellow-orange flesh that complements its outstanding flavor,” Worthington said.

Worthington said the Ozark Mango is similar to other clingstone, non-melting flesh varieties and exhibits “excellent post-harvest potential,” allowing for storage between 14 to 21 days while maintaining its quality. A clingstone and non-melting nectarine means that the fruit’s flesh adheres tightly to the pit and maintains its firm texture even when fully ripe, without becoming soft.

“Ozark Mango exhibits remarkable resilience in the face of challenging bacterial spot pressure at the Fruit Research Station,” Worthington said.  “It shows no cracking on the fruit and displaying tolerance to symptoms on the leaves.”

The new variety is estimated to be a mid-chill nectarine appropriate for areas with 600 to 800 chill hours a year, she added.

“Ozark Mango is, in my opinion at least, the tastiest thing we have on this farm,” she said. “It’s too good not to share.”

For further information and licensing on Ozark Mango, growers can contact the university’s Technology Commercialization office at 479 575-3953 or [email protected].

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