Mangoes ripened chemically can pose health hazard

Hyderabad: A sage said what tastes good may not be good to stomach.

Lots of delicacies come during the summer season and mango is one of them – a sweet taste, delicious fruit with a pleasant aroma with a bright yellow colour.

The King of fruits as Mango is called is packed with multiple Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients also with various antioxidants that are good for health, as well as Vitamin C, which boosts Immunity level.

Along with various vitamins, minerals and nutrients there are chances that the mangoes may come with hazardous chemicals which might have been used for artificial ripening by some fruit traders for quick money.

According to information the mango traders are using Ethephon – an imported harmful chemical in large quantities – to ripen the fruit which might pose health hazards to the consumers.

The traders use Ethephon during the transport of mangoes to ripen them artificially. These traders are resorting to this harmful process without giving any consideration to the health of the consumers.

This chemical ripening process reduces the duration of natural mango ripening time. It helps them to encash the opportunity citing the scarcity of fresh mango produce and demand by the customer.

Ethephon is being used in large quantities in Guddi Enaram Agricultural Market – also known as Kuttapeth Fruit Market – yard which can be hazardous to consumers’ health.

According to Dr. Subba Raju, an agricultural expert, the Ethephon seeps into the fruit and separates ethylene. There is another chemical that is regularly used to ripen the fruit that is Calcium Carbide which produces acetylene which is similar to ethylene. But this chemical is more hazardous.

This chemical changes the skin colour of the fruit while it remains unripe from inside, says Dr. Raju.

A team of food inspectors and food analysts visited Kuttapeth Fruit Market to check the use of harmful chemicals in ripening the fruits.

Balaji Raju, Assistant Food Controller GHMC, said, “We have not come across any violation so far. We have obtained samples for lab testing. However, we are keeping a constant vigil on the use of hazardous chemicals. If anyone is found violating the norms, we will take action against him.”

“Ethephon use is allowed in a certain quantity,” Laxmi Narain Reddy, Senior Scientific Officer at State Food Laboratory said. “We have seen the labours – who are mostly from Maharashtra – emptying Ethephon sachets in large quantities due to their ignorance. We have cautioned them not to do so and use the chemicals in permissible quantity as per the guidelines.”

“We shall visit the market once again to ensure the chemical is not being used beyond the permissible limit,” Reddy said.