(Image source from: MomJunction)
Summer is here and people all-around patently crave for mangoes, which is regarded as the best part about summers.
The summer fruit is also a great source of vitamins A and C and contains essential nutrients such as folate, B6, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin E. This low-calorie fruit is high in fiber which means it is good for your tummy.
However, the downhearted reality of the world is that a lot of mangoes these days are ripened artificially by the use of toxic chemicals that are too bad for your health. Not only do they deprive the fruit of its health benefits, but it also introduces your system to dangerous chemicals that may harm you, or show severe side effects.
One of the most common chemicals used to ripen mangoes artificially is calcium carbide (CaC2.) The toxic chemical contains arsenic and phosphorus that can have severe side-effects on human bodies and can even prove fatal. The well-known carcinogen, CaC2 can alter human cells into cancerous cells.
Another chemical used to ripen mangoes is ethylene.
Reportedly, 22 tons of mangoes were ripened with the use of ethylene, according to statements provided by the Food Safety Department along with the Vigilance and Enforcement Department.
While ethylene isn't hazardous, mixing it with carbide makes the chemical toxic to humans. Moreover, using the process of ripening ethylene requires excellent practice and also requires to follow methods for people who need to be trained.
Ethylene, for the most part, is used as a de-greening agent to turn the peel from green to perfect yellow. However, there are specific rules and regulations that the people using the substance need to abide by.
Calcium carbide is a chemical that has been linked to various health issues and can be hazardous to human beings.
Calcium carbide, once dissolved in water, produces acetylene that can help the artificial ripening process, however, at a considerable cost. Acetylene can affect the nervous system by reducing oxygen supply to the brain, and the Arsenic and phosphorus are toxic as well that can expose you to severe health hazards.
The substances popularly used to ripen mangoes are known to cause cancer, permanent eye damage, ulcers, and even lung issues. However, the usage of such chemicals hasn't stopped.
Ways to find out that your mangoes are ripened using Calcium Carbide and other toxic materials:
Color and texture
The color and texture of artificially ripened mangoes are usually uneven. There may be patches of green evident on the fruit as the chemical doesn't ripen the fruit evenly.
Artificially ripened mangoes usually have no or little juice in them, and you will not be able to extract juice from the mangoes that are artificially ripened with ease. Even after you try to squeeze the fruit using your hands to make juice, you will find little or no juice.
Throat-irritation and burning sensation
Even so many people may not suffer from the immediate reaction when they have mangoes that are artificially ripened, such fruit will make your throat irritated and also give you a slight burning sensation inside your mouth. Some people may even experience side effects such as stomach ache, diarrhea, etc.
By Sowmya Sangam