Food Safety Officials on Wednesday seized 1.15 tonnes of artificially ripened mangoes from shops here. Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department (Food Safety Wing) Designated Officer R. Kathiravan said that raids were conducted at 10 wholesale markets at Ukkadam and five retail shops in Gandhipuram.

Of these, five markets at Ukkadam and a shop in Gandhipuram were found selling artificially ripened mangoes. Further, around 50 kg of calcium carbide stones were seized from a grocery shop in Ukkadam fish market. The shop owners have been warned of stringent action.

Artificial ripening was mostly done using calcium carbide, which was widely available at low costs and was predominantly used in arc welding. The toxic impurities in this substance could affect the neurological system and reduce oxygen supply to the brain.A team comprising Food Safety Officers – K . Chandran, R. Govindarajan, S. Gerald Sathiapunithan, R. Rajendran, K. Suruli and S. Velusamy – conducted the raid. The mangoes would be buried at the Corporation Compost Yard at Vellalore. Such raids would continue in the future as well, he added.

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