Sunday, 17 March 2013

FDA fiat on ripening mangoes - Source LT

FDA can lodge a complaint if calcium carbide is used for ripening the mangoes and there is a provision of a fine between Rs.2 lakh and Rs.10 lakh and six months imprisonment for this offence. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted permission to traders to ripen mangoes with ethylene gas and at the same time warned of stern action for using calcium carbide. 
It may be noted here that there is a huge influx of mangoes from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and other places at Jadhavwadi Adat Market here. 
The city was lashed by unseasonal rain and stormy winds for the last two days as a result of which it has a severe impact on the mango growers.
The traders generally use calcium carbide to ripen the mangoes. When the mangoes are brought in the trucks, calcium carbide is sprinkled on the trucks and by the time it reaches the city it is ripen. 
Ethylene gas is a naturally produced chemical or plant hormone created during the ripening process of many vegetables and fruits such as bananas and apples, and is considered a ripening agent and a growth regulator and is an ordinary occurrence
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is of the view that the mangoes ripen by calcium carbide is injurious to health and adds that that the use of Ethylene gas for ripening the mangoes has no adverse effect on health. Presently Ethylene gas is used to ripen the bananas. On these grounds, the FDA has granted permission to traders to ripen the mangoes with Ethylene gas. 
The FDA officers said when calcium carbide is used the mangoes ripen just half but it is completely ripen when Ethylene gas is used. FDA joint commissioner Chandrashekhar Salunke said that a meeting of the traders will be called soon and they will be informed about the establishment of Ethylene gas Chamber for ripening the mangoes. Strict action will be taken against those who will be caught using calcium carbide for this purpose, he said.

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