Chennai Corporation seizes Artificially Ripend Fruits

Chennai Corporation has done a good deed.

Other States must follow suit.

7,000 kg of artificially-ripened fruits seized


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Chennai: In an intensive drive on Friday, the Chennai Corporation’s health department seized 7,000 kg of artificially-ripened mangoes and papayas from various shops in the city. Two shops at the wholesale fruit market in Koyambedu that stored calcium carbide and ethrel — artificial ripening agents — were sealed.

The drive covered Tondiarpet High Road, Poondi Thangammal Street market, VOC Nagar market, Govindappa Naicken Street, Anna Pillai Street, Kothavalchavadi, Royapuram market, Lloyds Road market and CIT Colony First Cross Street. About 300 kg of calcium carbide, used to ripen fruits fast by being wrapped in clothes and kept in piles of fruits, was seized from these places.

On Friday, sanitary inspectors found that 11 of the 124 shops in the Koyambedu market stored chemical agents and two shops stocked more than 150 kg of calcium carbide. “A 500 ml bottle of ethrel, a chemical compound for colour development, was also seized.

To instill fear among the traders, we decided to seal the shops,” a health official said. In the last one month, seven inspections have been held in the wholesale market. Last month, a shop was sealed after an informal test on a ripened mango revealed traces of calcium carbide and the fruit was found unfit for consumption.

Calcium carbide, a hazardous chemical, is prohibited from being used for artificial ripening of fruits “Those eating fruits ripened with calcium carbide and ethrel could suffer from neurological disorders, headache, dizziness, memory-loss and mouth ulcers.

The corporation will take stern action against traders who use such chemicals,” said mayor M Subramanian.

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