Kumari Palany & Co

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Avoid eating mangoes ripened using calcium carbide as it could lead to many health issues!!

Posted on: 23/May/2024 9:14:26 AM

Nothing can bring more happiness on our faces than eating sweet delicious mangoes during the summer season!!

It is well known to us that mangoes are full of fibres, antioxidants and vitamin C etc and by eating mangoes we could get plenty of health benefits. These are lowering of bad cholesterol levels, control of blood pressure, preventing certain cancers etc. Eating mangoes would also support our weight loss goal. Not many would know the fact that eating mangoes ripened with calcium carbide can lead to serious health consequences.

Recently, top food regulator in India FSSAI has urged the traders and other food business operators not to ripen mangoes using calcium carbide. This took many by surprise. It must be noted that FSSAI advised the food safety departments of various states and UT to remain vigilant and to take strict action on those who are involved in unlawful methods.

The FSSAI mentioned that calcium carbide that has been used commonly for ripening of fruits like mangoes would release acetylene gas.  This gas would have arsenic and phosphorus as harmful traces. Information collected is that these harmful traces could lead to issues like dizziness, frequent thirst, irritation, weakness plus issues like vomiting and skin ulcers etc.

How calcium carbide is used in ripening mangoes:

Point is that calcium carbide is a chemical compound used as an artificial ripening agent for fruits like mangoes etc. Using calcium carbide would hasten the process of ripening. It is due to the potential health hazards associated with its residues calcium carbide has been banned in many countries.

Acetylene gas is produced when calcium carbide comes in contact with the atmosphere and this gas is flammable and produces a risk of explosion when it is not handled properly. It is noteworthy that calcium carbide residues in the fruit would lead to the formation of traces of arsenic hydride and phosphorus hydride also and these are toxic compounds.

Various ill effects of consuming calcium carbide ripened mangoes:

The research studies have brought to light that calcium carbide could affect our neurological system by producing hypoxia. Various symptoms that could be reported are headaches, dizziness, high sleepiness, memory loss, cerebral oedema, numbness in legs and hands, cold and damp skin, weakness etc. Issues like low BP and seizures would also be present.

Preventive steps:

It is important to avoid those mangoes with artificial uniform yellow colour and unripe scent. Choosing naturally ripened fruits like mangoes would be good. By this, we would be able to get full nutritional benefits without health issues associated with chemical ripening agents. To reduce chemical residues etc going inside us, we must soak mangoes in water for atleast an hour. It is essential to wash the fruits thoroughly with water and then consume them.

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