Fruit ripening sometimes requires patience especially as some fruits can take weeks before it ripens. This process is a downside for some fruit sellers who want to sell to increase their finances. As a result, they resort to the use of chemicals such as calcium carbide.
Calcium carbide is a colourless material that is used in the production of acetylene gas, carbide lamps and fertilizers. Mixing it with moisture in the atmosphere speeds up the ripening process. Calcium carbide is widely used because of its availability in the market.
When calcium carbide is not properly handled, it can lead to vomiting, digestive burns, headache, irregular breathing, eye irritation, burns or blindness among other health hazards.
This means that fruits which are meant to aid in healing and preventive process become poisonous.
Regular consumption of fruits that are ripened with calcium carbide can cause cancer, heart, kidney and liver failure.
How To Identify A Naturally Ripen Fruit
The National Agency For Food Drug Administration and Control banned this chemical last month stating that its use is a criminal offense.
In a released statement, they explained how to identify a naturally ripen fruit.
“NAFDAC hereby warns farmers and the general public about dangers of using calcium carbide for ripening fruits such as banana, mango, plantain, orange and cashew”
“Naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black spots, while those artificially ripened have traces of powdery substances and peel off quickly”.