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Harmful to humans, blue light may be good for mangoes

Study shows that exposure of mangoes to blue light makes them tastier and juicer (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@AinulYaqeenINC)

While human beings are strictly warned to keep their exposure to the blue light emitted by computer screens to minimum, these have been found to benefit fruits making them more attractive and tastier!

A report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry recently stated that mangoes become sweeter, more ripe and redder, when they are exposed to blue light for several days.

Plants depend on sunlight to carry out photosynthesis and ripen their fruits. Also, exposure of fruits to light affects their appearance and increases their sweetness. Moreover, as sunlight includes many colours, their varied wavelengths have different effects. This led Yuanwen Teng of Zhejiang University and colleagues to probe this issue and study how blue light impacts the quality and ripeness of mangoes.

The researchers kept some mangoes in blue light and some in darkness for nine days and discovered that the former contained far more anthocyanins in their peels, making them redder as compared to the latter. Moreover, the flesh of these fruits was sweeter, more yellow, softer, and had more sucrose and carotenoids than the other group.

Going ahead, they also found that light-responsive genes which are part of the photosynthesis and those genes that were involved in producing sucrose, anthocyanin and carotenoids, were upregulated under blue light.

As per the researchers, this means that mangoes could directly perceive this light and trigger an internal genetic signalling pathway.