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Health Alert: Food Authority Warns Against Use of Calcium Carbide on Fruits


Fruit handlers, traders, and operators of food businesses have received a warning from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) not to use carbide gas or calcium carbide for artificial fruit ripening. The Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 have already made it illegal to use the gas for this specific purpose. The purpose of the most recent FSSAI alert is to act as a reminder during mango season. The Food Safety Departments of the States and Union Territories are also being advised by the FSSAI, according to the press release, “to remain vigilant and take serious action and deal stringently against person(s) indulging in such unlawful practices”.


What Is Calcium Carbide? Why Should It Not Be Used For Ripening Fruits?

Acetylene gas, which is released by calcium carbide, has traces of phosphorus and arsenic in it. These minerals can be harmful to your health if you eat them. Fruits may have phosphorus and arsenic residues if ripening agents such as calcium carbide or carbide gas are applied. “These substances, also known as ‘Masala’, can cause serious health issues such as dizziness, frequent thirst, irritation, weakness, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting and skin ulcers, etc,” according to the FSSAI.

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