FDA seizes 1,600-kg artificially ripened fruits, destroys 600-kg of papaya

Indore: If you are a fitness freak and believe that eating fruits will keep you fit, think again. The fruits you are taking may harm you and make you severely ill.

The food and drug administration department on Tuesday seized over 1,600 kilograms of fruits from different parts of city that were ripened using harmful chemicals. The department officials were shocked to know that vendors used Chinese chemicals for ripening the fruits.

“We have seized ethylene pipener manufactured by a Chinese company from two fruit vendors in Bakshi Gali. We also seized 500 kgs of artificially ripened mangoes from a godown of Mohammed Raees and 100 kgs of mangoes from godown of Mohammed Ameer,” chief food safety officer Manish Swami said.

The department destroyed 600 kilograms of papaya seized from the godown of MSY Fruit Company in Moti Tabela, which were ripened using calcium carbide.

The department officials also found 400 kgs of artificially ripened bananas from M/s Lalit Ram Porwal in fruit market, which were ripened using a plant growth regulator ethephon.

“We sent samples of seized fruits and chemicals to laboratory for testing. We will continue drive against artificially ripened fruits along with drive to prevent sale of adulterated milk and milk products,” Swami said.

Health minister Tulsi Silawat on Tuesday directed department officials to take action against those who ripened fruits artificially.

“We are implementing directives of Supreme Court against artificial fruit ripening and milk adulteration. We will not let vendors put residents’ life in danger and will make provisions of life imprisonment for those involved in such activities,” Silawat told mediapersons in Bhopal.

Methods of artificial fruit ripening

1. Calcium carbide powder is sprayed in the room where the fruits are stocked. Once the powder is sprayed, it immediately reacts with the atmospheric moisture and releases carbide gas, which is toxic and carcinogenic. This gas ripens fruits but its harmful deposits remain on fruits.

2. Fruits vendors use ethephon, a plant growth regulator, to ripen fruits artificially. This chemical is mixed in bucket of water. Fruits are dipped in it for 15 seconds and are left for drying.

Artificial ripened fruits are harmful

Artificial ripened fruits are dangerous for health as it can cause gastroenterology problems, reaction in throat and even cancer. Some studies also suggest that plant growth regulators affect hormonal balance in children.

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