Come summer, it’s mango time in India. But, with the increasing prevalence of artificial ripening, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has sounded a note of caution about the Queen of Fruits – Don’t be fooled by looks alone, check for aroma too before buying.

Fruit that is artificially ripened using calcium carbide may have spotless, attractive lemon-yellow skins, but they will lack the signature sweet aroma of naturally grown and ripened mangoes. And stalks that remain green even when the fruit are a ripe yellow are a complete give-away.

Speaking at an awareness press meet, FSSAI officials said bananas carried the same risk of artificial ripening as mangoes.

Calcium carbide, which is readily and cheaply available, does hasten the ripening process, but also leaves behind traces of arsenic and phosphorus hydride which are injurious to human health.

The press meet was organized in response to a High Court directive to the Government to spread awareness about the ill-effects of artificial ripening of fruit.

Principal Secretary, Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Rajeshwar Tiwari said the government will soon come up with more measures to increase public awareness of the problem.


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