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Use of carbide continues in ripening of mangoes

28,April, 2017
 

A file photo artificially ripened mangoes (Inset) calcium carbide

Kakinada: Though the mango season began with an expected bumper crop yield in East Godavari, commission agents were adopting unfair practices to make some easy money. Farmers were in anticipation of good financial returns with an expected yield between 90,000 tonne to one lakh tonne in 16,500 hectares in the district. The middlemen between the farmers and consumers, also known as commission agents were using calcium carbide to ripe mangoes artificially.

Highlights:

  • Middlemen resort to artificial ripening methods of mangoes using calcium carbide instead of traditional ethylene chambers to make easy money 
  • Gastritis, loose motions and stomach disorders are some of the health problems that will be caused by consuming artificially ripened fruits 

Instead of opting for the natural ripening process using ethylene chambers which are provided on 50 per cent subsidy by horticulture department, calcium carbide in powder form is used, thereby depriving natural fruits to consumers. East Godavari horticulture assistant director K Gopi Kumar said they had been providing natural ripening chambers of one tonne capacity. “We supplied these chambers to more than 130 farmers in the district.

These ethylene chambers would boost the natural ethylene content in mango fruit to enhance the taste. This is in no way harmful to human consumption particularly to children. The government should ban the sale of carbide in powder form and provide the carbide to licensed users to avoid misusage,” he said. Senior physician and president, Kakinada chapter Indian Medical Association, Dr Ramswarop Jawahar observed that usage of carbide causes severe health disorders including gastritis, loose motions and other stomach disorders, especially among children.

When contacted FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), East Godavari food sampling inspector Kalyan Chakravarty said they had been conducting raids where the artificial ripening process is taking place in the district. “On Monday we registered two cases in Jaggampeta area. As we have less field staff, we are not in a position to conduct more raids on outlets of artificial ripening,” the official clarified.

Categories: NEWS
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