31. Mango Seed Kernel

A friend has sent me an extract from Current Science showing how mango seed kernel is a fair substitute for cereals and fodder:

"According to a recent estimate, the concentrates available in India are sufficient only for 29.1 per cent and fodder for 78.5 per cent of adult bovine population. This does not take into account the requirements of goats, sheep and equines. The shortage is further accentuated during periods of famine. In order to meet the shortages, the Nutritional Research Laboratory at Izatnagar have been exploring new sources of foodstuffs. This investigation relates to the use of mango seed kernel as a cattle and human food. At present the material is thrown away as a waste. From chemical analysis of kernel it has been found to be rich in carbohydrates and fats (crude protein 8.5 per cent, ether extract 8.85 per cent and soluble carbohydrates 74.49 per cent on dry basis).

"The observations credit mango seed kernel with a place in the category of food-grains and make available every year about 70 million lb. digestible protein and 780 million lb. of starch equivalent from a hitherto unutilized source. It has been also calculated that the digestible protein obtained from 80 lb. of oats is equal to that of 100 lb. of the kernel and the starch equivalent for 86 lb."'

I have known this use from my early youth. But no one seems to have thought of conserving this seed for food. The mango season is upon us and though much time has been lost, it will be a good thing if every mango seed was saved and the kernel baked and eaten in the place of cereals or given to those who need it. Every ounce of food saved is so much gained.

Delhi, 21-5-1946

Harijan, 26-5-1946