- Dec 22, 2017 -
SURAT: The Surat Municipal Corporation's (SMC) health department has issued an advisory to the residents in Diamond City to stay away from purchasing ripened mangoes being sold in the retail market, as they could be ripened using hazardous calcium carbide chemical, which could harm the human health.
In the last three days, the health officials have destroyed more than 4,000 kilogram of mangoes ripened using calcium carbide and more than 20 kilogram of the chemicals were seized during the raids at various spots in the city, including the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) and the markets in Athwa zone.
Official sources said that calcium carbide is very much harmful for human consumption due to the presence of carcinogenic substance, which causes cancer. The retailers and wholesalers have been using the carbide to ripen the mangoes early, in order to earn huge profits.
At present, the Alphonso and Kesar varieties are sold in the market
for Rs 150 to Rs 220 per kilogram in the retail market. Mango lovers
purchase the ripened mangoes for consumption.
Sources said that carbide is placed in mango boxes in a small pouch and extreme heat from the chemical substance ripens the mango overnight.
The health officials said that the actual arrival of mangoes starts in the market after May 10, this is when the fruits start pouring from the orchards to the wholesale markets like the APMC. The consumers should purchase the mangoes in their raw form and ripen them at home using the traditional heat methods.
Talking to TOI, medical officer of health, Dr Ashish Naik said, "Our department carry out regular checks at the wholesale markets to destroy the mangoes ripened using carbide. Even the small fruits are ripened using the chemical. We have advised the consumers to purchase mangoes in raw form and ripen them at home."