• 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.