Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Mangoes with toxic chemicals seized in FDA raid at Vashi’s APMC market
Thursday, 03 May, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra has raided the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) market in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, seizing about 109 dozen mangoes with toxic chemical. Acting on a tip-off, officials from the state FDA conducted raids in several places, finding that toxic chemicals were present in the mangoes that were being sold in the market.

An FDA Maharashtra official, who is investigating the matter, said, “The raid was conducted on April 24, 2018, and about 109 dozen mangoes were seized to test for the presence of toxic chemicals. The collected samples were sent to the laboratory at the FDA headquarters in Bandra East, Mumbai.

According to the state FDA officials, only up to 100 parts per million (ppm) of ethylene and up to 2ppm of ethephon can be used to ripen mangoes. However, it was found that the vendors were ripening the fruits by dipping them in ethephon beyond the permissible limit. If the usage of ethophon is increased, it can be injurious to human health.

Explaining the ill effects of artificially ripened mangoes on human health, Dr Usha Kiran Sisodia, dietician, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Vile Parle, said, “Calcium carbide, which is used to ripen the fruit, is very harmful for health. It leads to irritation to the stomach lining and also gives abdominal pain.”

“Other ailments, like headache, skin allergies, loose motions, vomiting, etc. can also be witnessed when such artificially-ripened mangoes are consumed. Also, the nutrient value in the fruits is lost. For a mango to ripen fully, it takes about a week or two, and once it is fully ripened the natural way, its nutritional elements are high,” she added.

“However, artificially-ripened mangoes lose their nutrient elements, including vitamin and phosphorous, which increase the energy level in children and adults. Mango has a high heat-absorbing quality. But due to the increase demand for mangoes, traders are adopting this malpractice, which, in contrast, is only harmful to human health,” Dr Sisodia said.

Meanwhile, concerned about the increasing number of violations by the traders regarding fruit ripening, the Government of Maharashtra has decided to hold consultations with experts. A meeting regarding this has already taken place at Mantralaya, in which consultations were held about the future course of action regarding such issues.
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