Truth or Fiction: Are There Seedless Mangoes and Where Would They Come From?

Written by Aaron Webber
Published: December 2, 2023
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For one of the most delicious and popular fruits in the entire world, mangoes have earned a reputation for being one of the most annoying to eat. From their slippery nature to the large pit in the middle, mangoes can be a pain to eat if you don’t know what you’re doing. Naturally, hearing rumors of “seedless” mangoes would make any person perk up. It would make cutting, serving, and eating mangoes a breeze.

So, are there seedless mangoes? Where do they come from? How are they grown?

The Legend of The Mango

Street vendor selling raspuri mangoes

Mangoes piled up for sale by a street vendor.

©SHOOTKART/Shutterstock.com

Mangoes first started growing in Southern Asia. Specifically, they are native to parts of India and Bangladesh. They are the national fruit of India, the Philippines, and Pakistan, and the mango tree is the national tree of Bangladesh. Everything about the mango, from its shape, color, tree, pit, flavor, and more are cultural hallmarks of societies all over the world. They feature in myths, legends, and local folklore. They are present in culinary masterpieces and are eaten by those in desperate poverty. The pit of the mango, also known as a stone, is the iconic annoyance of people everywhere.

Are There Seedless Mangoes?

two mangos, one with with pit

The stone at the center of every mango.

©Peter Zijlstra/Shutterstock.com

The mango is known as the “king of fruits” in India. So, it would make sense that any new species of mango, including any seedless variety, would be developed there. So, did they succeed in creating the mythical seedless mango?

In short, no, not really. Every mango in the world is going to have a pit, or a seed, in the center. There is, however, a mango called the “seedless mango”. Therein lies the confusion.

The seedless mango, as it is named, still has a pit in the center, but it is significantly smaller than the pit of a normal mango. In fact, it is so small that it is almost unnoticeable until you reach the center of the mango. If you are cutting this mango, or eating it in your hand, you will still need to remove this pit, or cut or eat around it. Yet, it is not nearly as annoying as its cousins. Additionally, this leaves more room within the mango for the actual flesh of the fruit to grow, meaning you can get more fruit per mango. The seedless mango variety is called Sindhu.

If you are looking for a mango with absolutely no seed, unfortunately, you are out of luck for now. The science of fruit and GMOs in particular are always advancing. Yet, we have not yet reached the holy grail of entirely seedless mangoes.

The Science Behind Seedless Mangoes

Raw green mango on tree, Salunkwadi, Ambajogai, Beed, Maharashtra, India, Southeast, Asia

Wild mangoes growing in a natural mango grove.

©Tukaram.Karve/Shutterstock.com

The Sindhu mango is a hybrid fruit, created by grafting the branches of one species into the trunk of another. The specific genetic makeup of the two varieties then mix to create the seedless Sindhu on the grafted branch. The process is tricky, so it is not recommended for first-time growers, but it is relatively simple. We get many of our fruit varieties this way.

After a few years of research, scientists in India at the Bihar Agriculture University created the Sindhu mango in 2014. They combined the Ratna mango with the Alphonso mango. The result is a mango that has a rich, sweet, and very distinct flavor without the pit. However, it has less fiber than its predecessors.

In most mango varieties, the pit will take up as much as 30% of the total weight of the fruit. In the Sindhu seedless mango, it only takes up around 10%.

This new variety also has a thicker skin than other mangoes, which makes it better and easier to transport without damaging the flesh beneath. It might still take some time for the Sindhu mango to reach markets around the world. But once it does, it is sure to catch on and become a new favorite.

Where Can You Buy Seedless Mangoes?

Since its creation in 2014, and following a few years of additional research, seedless mangoes have begun to spread to international markets and local stores. Because they can be grown at home, some local growers have begun to offer them alongside their usual fruit harvest. You will need to check with your local grocer or at your farmer’s market to find out if they sell the Sindhu mango or some local variety of it. There is no list you can check to find out which stores offer them, you will have to do the legwork yourself.

Can You Grow Seedless Mangoes?

With enough work and research, you can grow seedless mangoes.

©apiguide/Shutterstock.com

Yes! However, before you jump in your car and head down to the nursery, there are a few things you should check first.

Before you begin, you need to decide how you want to go about growing your own seedless mangoes. There are two routes you can take. You can either buy a tree that has already been grafted or graft the tree yourself. One is significantly easier than the other. Contact your local nurseries to find out if they have any seedless mango trees available. They can help you pick the right one for you.

Buying a sapling

If you choose to buy a tree that is ready to plant, make sure your garden is ready for the new addition. Mango trees grow only in tropical areas. Unless you have a greenhouse specifically designed to replicate a tropical climate, your mango tree won’t grow and produce fruit properly. This is true no matter how well you take care of it. If you do live in a tropical or sub-tropical area, make sure you plant your new tree in a part of your garden that receives full sun, and in an area with nutrient-rich soil. Beyond this, follow general tree transplant techniques and follow the advice and suggestions of your nursery. If you’ve done everything right, you can expect to taste your first seedless mangoes within two to four years.

If you want to grow your own seedless mangoes from scratch, the process becomes much more complicated. Grafting a tree is difficult. Even if you do everything right there is always a chance the graft won’t take. This forces you to wait a season before seeing if you’ve been successful or not. If you don’t have your own grove of mango trees, it will be expensive and difficult to source multiple scion branches into the rootstock of your home mango tree. It can be done, but we recommend you practice on smaller, easier, and cheaper varieties of fruits before you begin.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Piyaset/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Aaron Webber is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering history, spirituality, geography, and culture. He has over 13 years of writing for global marketing firms, ad agencies, and executive ghostwriting. He graduated with a degree in economics from BYU and is a published, award-winning author of science fiction and alternate history. Aaron lives in Phoenix and is active in his community teaching breathwork, healing ceremonies, and activism. He shares his thoughts and work on his site, The Lost Explorers Club.

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