Fruit ripening chemicals widely used at Parimpora mandi

Rising Kashmir

Fruit ripening chemicals widely used at Parimpora mandi

July 03, 2018

Sakeena Banday

xDespite attempts by Drugs and Food Control (DFCO) to curb the adulteration in food items, the practice of using harmful chemicals for quick ripening of fruits and vegetables is widespread in Kashmir.

The dealers at at Parimpora Mandi use chemicals like Ethylene, Calcium Carbide and Fruitron gas to ripen the fruits as well as vegetables.

Kashmir on daily basis imports large quantity of fruits and vegetables from other states of India which are stored at fruit mandis.

One of the dealers at Parimpora Mandi said fruits imported to Valley in trucks may parish on way due to rise in temperatures.
He disclosed that the fruits are stored low temperatures and administered Ethylene doze at 21 degree Celsius for ripening it within 24 hours.

“After that the temperature is maintained at 16 degree Celsius to 12 degree for 3 to 6 days. During this process the colour of fruits changes which suggesting it has ripened,” he said.

Experts say that the use of calcium carbine and ethylene and fruition gas are dangerous for health and can lead to severe ailments and disease outbreaks.
Dr. Ghulam Hassan, Assistant Professor, Fruit Sciences at Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) Kashmir said that Calcium carbide is used in industries for welding purposes.

“The phenomenon can lead to severe ailments in neurology, skin, and lungs. Despite use of chemicals for the artificial ripening of fruits is banned under Article 44-AA of National Horticulture Board. Violation of article is dealt with six months of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1000.”

Another senior research fellow at SKAUST, Dr. Sajad Hussain, said the use of the chemicals for ripening can also cause damage to eyes, skin, liver, and lungs. “Although Ethylene is not that dangerous but it also adulterates the fruit because the chemicals mature it before natural growth.
He said the chemicals mix up with the water of the fruit producing phosphates and arsenic which are very dangerous for health.

Commissioner of Department of Food Safety Jammu and Kashmir Dr Kabir Dar told Rising Kashmir that they have raided some fruit markets and fined them.
“We are trying our best to curb the adulteration in food items. We have sent some samples to the laboratories and will take action as per Food Safety Standards Act.”