Authors: Hermance Y&enoukounmey HOUNGBO, Florence Mahouton ANATO AFORA, D&eley Sylvain DABAD&E, Antonio SINZOGAN, Paulin AZOKPOTA
Weaver ant (Oecophylla longinonda) used in biological control of pest, is said to improve the organoleptic quality of protected fruits. This study aims at bringing out stakeholders’ perception of weaver ants effect on mango quality. A survey was performed in Parakou (Benin), with stakeholders to assess their perception of mango quality and their opinion about weaver ant’s effect on mango quality. Then, the taste and the appearance (performed on unwashed and washed fruits) of three categories of mango: Control mango CM (Mango without ants), ants mango without scale insect (AM) and ants mango with scale insects (AMS) were evaluated by 25 panelists. Survey showed that maturity, appearance, size, non-infestation and firmness were the main criteria used by stakeholders to assess mango quality. Differences between protected and non-protected mango were based mainly on taste, appearance and non-infestation (68.8%; 48.4%; 31.3% of respondents, respectively). Most respondents (88.6%), who used taste to differentiate protected mango from non-protected mango, declared that the former is sweeter than the latter. Some respondents (35.5%) negatively pointed out the presence of scale insects and / or ants marks on the peel of protected mango. All respondents stated that protected mango is non-infested by pest. Similarly, sensory test showed that AMS scored the highest grade (4.5) followed by AM (3.9) and CM (2.8) for the taste (for washed fruits), registered the highest score (3.8) ahead AM (3.2) and CM (2.7). This investigation showed that weaver ants improve mango, taste and appearance. Mango quality changes due to the presence of weaver ants should be investigated. Key words: Oecophylla longinoda, biological control, survey, criteria, Parakou, organoleptic quality.