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Health risks of eating calcium carbide ripened mangoes

The mango season has arrived, bringing with it buckets of the king of fruits to indulge in. However, consumers need to be aware of potential issues from mangoes that are ripened unnaturally. Calcium carbide, a chemical compound banned in many countries, is still used illegally by some farmers and vendors to hasten ripening. While this speeds up the process, the residues left behind can negatively impact well-being.

Calcium carbide reacts with moisture to generate acetylene gas, which causes mangoes to ripen prematurely. However, this gas contains impurities like arsenic and phosphorus in trace amounts. When ingested, these toxic byproducts can enter the body through the fruit. Studies have linked long-term exposure to neurological disorders and increased cancer risk.

Short-term effects are also concerning. Complaints of headaches, dizziness and nausea have been reported by those eating calcium carbide ripened mangoes. The contaminants can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, leading to issues like abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea and vomiting. Respiratory problems may arise from inhaling acetylene fumes during the ripening process as well.

Direct contact with contaminated fruit surfaces could trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. The acetylene method also reduces the nutrient profile compared to natural ripening. Artificially hastened mangoes miss out on fully developing beneficial compounds.

advise choosing organic mangoes or thoroughly washing conventional varieties. Soaking slices in water for an hour may help remove residual chemicals. While calcium carbide usage is illegal, accidental consumption remains possible. Being aware of these hidden dangers empowers consumers to opt for safer eating choices. Naturally ripened seasonal fruits offer the optimal balance of taste and wellness.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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