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I was cutting up a mango, when I noticed some black threads inside.

What are those?

They are quite tough, brown-black, about an inch long (2.5 cm). I've got a picture.

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's an indication that the fruit has started to rot:

When dark spots start appearing on the side of a mango, it's starting to rot. A mango can rot from the pit, the skin, or from the non-stem end. Any black fibers also indicate that the fruit has started to rot, and at that point, you need to toss it into the trash.

From: Student's Vegetarian Cookbook For Dummies, page 301

Edit: Yes, the above is probably being overcautious in stating “any black fibers? → trash!” It's from a “Dummies” book after all. ;) I couldn't really find another good reference. But I'm sure you can make the distinction between a piece of fruit that has a small brown spot and one that's black and shriveled. Still, the color of the fibers is a result of the late ripening/rotting process of the mango, rather than a result of an earlier stage in its growth. But having eaten this mango with the one, tiny black fiber shown in her picture, I don't really expect to read Mien's obituary on this site tomorrow. ;)

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I don't think it's rotten at that point. Overripe, sure. But, though I don't have a source off the top of my head, anecdotally, I've eaten tons of overripe mangos containing a few black fibers, and they tasted great and caused me no problems. –  Jefromi May 30 '12 at 18:03
    
Overripe mangoes are good for making mango ice-cream (the rotten sections need to be thrown off though). –  Nav Jun 3 '12 at 15:44
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I believe some mangos do that in early stages of over-ripening (similar to how an avocado does that). I usually cut around them and keep eating.

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