North West Wales

Bangor Uni: Wild mango could tackle chocolate crisis

Report author Sayma Akhter with wild mango fruit Image copyright Bangor University
Image caption Report author Sayma Akhter with wild mango fruit

Scientists in Wales may have found a solution to the global chocolate crisis caused by a cocoa shortage.

Bangor University researchers discovered wild mango butter can be used as an alternative to cocoa butter.

Disease and crop failure made the price of cocoa butter more than double between 2005 and 2015, with prices set to rise by 30% by 2020.

The discovery could see mango butter - which is lower in fat - "plucked from obscurity", the team said.

Postgraduate student Sayma Akhter said wild mango was a so-called "Cinderella" species - one which is visually appealing but currently overlooked - with its real potential still unrealised.

She added: "The identification of value could pluck it from obscurity into mainstream production.

"There are many other new products which can come from underutilised fruits, which are still waiting for proper attention."

Prof Morag McDonald, head of the university's School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, said a new use for the wild mango could help protect it from deforestation.

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