India: Tamil Nadu govt warn vendors against artificially ripening mangoes

Chennai - Traders were warned of legal action if they partook in the illegal practice.


By Web Report

Published: Fri 18 Jun 2021, 2:19 PM

The Tamil Nadu government has warned traders about the ill-effects of artificial ripening and legal action has been initiated for repeat offences.

Officials conducted a raid on a market in Chennai on Wednesday and found seven tonnes of mangoes ripened with ethylene. The action was initiated after Ma Subramanian, the state’s health minister, got a complaint on Twitter about artificial ripening in the city market.

The former Chennai mayor ordered a raid and officials found ethylene powder sachets applied to the fruits. M. Jagadish Chandra Bose, the food safety officer for the district, told the media that this leads to chemical infiltration and changes the colour of the skin.

“Black dots on the surface are a giveaway of artificial ripening,” said Bose. “Another method to identify is placing the fruits inside water to allow the chemical to disseminate.”

In another instance, last week food safety department officials seized 4,000 kilos of mangoes sprayed with chemicals at Trichy. After a tip-off, officials raided ten godowns at the Trichy Gandhi market and found the fruits being ripened artificially.

With mangoes being in great demand across India during the summer months, some dealers engage in artificial ripening of the fruits to meet the market needs. Vendors ripen the summer fruit using ethylene, which is an illegal practice in many places.

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