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Byline: Sabeeh-ur-Rasool Sabir

Health is of fundamental importance for all living organisms. It is that balanced condition of a living being in which the primary, harmonious performance of the vital functions leads to maintenance of the organism and its normal development. The meaning of health for human beings is the capability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage while confronting the physical, mental or social challenges. "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).

A healthy diet plays pivotal role in maintaining the good health of a living being. A wide range of plant-based and animal-based foods are the sole source of a healthy diet. Such a diet supplies energy needs and provides for human nutrition without any chance of toxicity or excessive weight gain from consuming excessive amounts.

Fruits being the plant-based food are considered to be an important source of health maintenance. A number of fruits, including fleshy fruits like mango, apple, peach, pear and watermelon are commercially valued as human food, eaten both fresh and as jams, marmalade and other preserves. They are also used in preparing foods like cookies, muffins, yogurt, ice cream, cakes, and many more. Many fruits are used to prepare beverages, such as fruit juices, milk shakes or alcoholic beverages.

Mango, known as the king of fruits, is a juicy stone fruit (drupe). It belongs to the genus Mangifera, It comprises of plentiful tropical fruiting trees, cultivated typically for edible fruit. They all belong to the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to South Asia, from where it has been globally distributed. Now it has become one of the extremely cultivated fruits in the tropics. It is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and the national tree of Bangladesh.

Mangoes are generally sweet though the taste and texture of the flesh differs thru the cultivars. Some of them have a soft, pulpy texture like an overripe plum, while others are firmer, like an avocado, and some may have a fibrous texture. They are used in a variety of forms. They are extensively used in cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, athanu, pickles, side dishes, or may be eaten raw with salt, chili, or soy sauce. Its pulp can be made into jelly and its milk shake is famous throughout the South Asia. The peels of unripe, pickled, or cooked mango can also be consumed.

Mango peel is 15-20% of the total mass of mango fruit. In the past, it was generally considered to be a dangerous stuff to eat. Still some researchers decided to analyze it. Their goal was to see if all that wasted peel could be used for something. After a substantial research work they came to know that the mango peel contains carotenoids, such as the provitamin-A compound, beta-carotene, lutein and alpha-carotene. The extract of raw and ripened mango peel comprises of compounds that display significant antioxidant and antiproliferative activities associated with its total flavonoid composition. In some additional laboratory tests, mango peel extracts produced apoptosis of human cervical malignant HeLa cells. No apoptotic effects were seen on application of the same concentration of extract to healthy lung fibroblasts. Mango flesh was also tested for the similar characters but it showed lower effects.

Mango peel also contains good amounts of anthocyanin. These pigments give color in plants and the produce. They're assumed to be powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants can help in protecting us from a number of diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, heart diseases, aging and many more.

The unripe mango peel present to be a great polyphenol punch being richer in these compounds as compared to its flesh. Polyphenols are natural chemicals found in plants. They are also believed to act as antioxidants. So, that's a lot of protective power in a peel. When compared to the synthetic antioxidant Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), the mango peel appears to be at the top. It also has advanced free radical scavenging activity, so in turn higher disease-fighting potential.

Antioxidant nutrients and phytonutrients hinder the oxidation of living cells by free radicals as they protect the lipids of the cell membranes through free radical scavenging, hindering the initiators of free radical attack and neutralizing or altering them into less active stable products. In this way they become cause of breaking the chain reaction and supporting in salvaging oxidized antioxidants thus allowing them to continue to be of benefit.

So, in discarding the peels of mango, we throw away valuable health aids. The substantial work of scientists turned this waste into a more profitable and beneficial produce, which is proving to be an imperative shield against a number of diseases. This is a finding of colossal importance for all of us. Including companies that process mangoes and mango products, the mango peel accounts for an enormous sum of waste. So, turning this waste into useable produce will reduce the strain on our environment and also cut costs for mango product companies.
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Author:Sabir, Sabeeh-ur-Rasool
Publication:Technology Times
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 6, 2015

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