Officials find 4,000kg of artificially ripened mangoes in India
On March 23, a 17-member team fanned out in Koyambedu market and seized close to 1,100kg of mangoes, 1,800kg of sapota and 300kg of papaya, along with 75kg of calcium carbide stones used to ripen them prematurely.
In a surprise raid a week earlier, officials had found 1,000kg of mangoes being ripened with the same chemical.
Calcium carbide is the most commonly used chemical to ripen the 'king' of fruits. Some vendors also resort to burning kerosene stoves or incense sticks in closed rooms to quicken the ripening process.
Experts say these methods give the mangoes a bright yellow and have a longer shelf life but are dangerous to eat. ■