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- Under PFA Section 44AA, the use of calcium carbide for artificial ripening of mangoes, apple, plum, banana is prohibited and can attract both imprisonment and fine.
- Calcium carbide powder is usually kept wrapped in paper between the fruits (unripe mangoes) in a basket or box.
- Once the basket of mango is closed from the top, calcium carbide absorbs moisture and produces acetylene gas, which accelerates the ripening process of fruits.
- The health hazards are related to the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, heart, liver and brain and in the long-run, cancer.
- Calcium carbide is cheap and 1 kg of calcium carbide is sufficient to ripe 10 tons of fruit.
- How do we know that the fruit has been artificially ripened with calcium carbide?
o It will be less tasty
o The aroma will be different
o It is uniform in color
o The color of the mango changes from green to dark yellow
o It will have a shorter shelf life
o It will be overtly soft
o There may be black patches on the mango skin
o There may be multicolor patches on the skin of the fruit (red, yellow, green patches)
- How should artificially ripened fruits be handled?
o Never eat off-season fruits, especially before time
o Rinse all fruits in running tap water for few minutes before use.