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Home » News » 13 tons of artificially ripened fruits seized

13 tons of artificially ripened fruits seized

CHENNAI: Chennai Corporation’s health officials on Wednesday conducted intensive raids on fruit stalls in several parts of the city and seized nearly 13 tonnes of artificially ripened mangoes and papayas.

The coordinated action on Wednesday followed a similar massive drive conducted about three weeks ago after the civic body received a number of complaints over the rampant sale of artificially ripened fruits at Koyambedu and elsewhere in the city.

At the Koyambedu wholesale fruit and vegetable market alone, the civic body’s officials seized about 11.5 tonnes of artificially ripened mangoes and about 500kg of papayas from 34 shops. They also recovered about 650kg of calcium carbide stones (ripening agent) from their possession.

As the civic officials made their way through numerous fruit stalls, a curious crowd followed them. They raiding over 60 shops and found artificially ripened fruits in more than half of them.

“This time around, we found that the practice of ripening the fruits using chemicals, has come down by about 15 per cent, as compared to the last raid, going by the seizures,” said Sadasivam, assistant health officer-Zone 5, Chennai Corporation. “This problem is rampant all over the State. In the city, frequent raids would perhaps help bring down the practice,” he added.

Even while the raid was on, Seshadri, a fruit seller, told City Express that this year, the fruit traders had a sumptuous arrival of mangoes from all parts of the country. “They don’t have a place to store them. They want the fruits to ripen fast, so that they can sell them off before the next load arrives,” he said. “Last year, the supply was less and hence, they did not require to ripen the fruits fast,” Seshadri added.

Besides Koyambedu, the intensive raids in different parts of the city, including Lloyds Road in Royapettah, yielded a seizure of about 600kg of artificially ripened mangoes and 15kg of carbide stones.

The seized products were later destroyed at the Corporation’s garbage transfer facility near Pulianthope.

Eating artificially ripened mangoes could cause stomach upset, because the alkaline substance is an irritant that erodes the mucosal tissue in the stomach and disrupts intestinal function. Artificial ripening is banned under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 and the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955.

The civic body officials also asked people to avoid consuming fruits that were artificially ripened, as it made them susceptible to diarrhoea.

source : http://ibnlive.in.com/news/13-tons-of-artificially-ripened-fruits-seized/154351-60-120.html

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