In a joint operation, officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Vigilance and Enforcement and the municipal authorities, conducted raids on fruit godowns at different places in Krishna district on Wednesday.
They seized huge quantity of stocks, including mangoes and bananas, ripened using chemicals.
The officials sealed nine mango godowns — two in Machilipatnam and seven in Gudivada — and destroyed at least 100 tonnes of mango ripened with calcium carbide.
Food Controller N. Purnachandra Rao told The Hindu that the preliminary investigations confirmed that the mango godown owners had used calcium carbide for ripening the mango.
“Samples of ripened mangoes were collected from all the godowns, which revealed usage of some pesticides for ripening the mangoes during our raids.
The samples of ripened mangoes have been sent for analysis,” added Mr. Purnachandra Rao.
The entire production of the mango destroyed on Wednesday was brought for ripening from the orchards in which the mangoes fell during the recent rains across Krishna district.
The food safety authorities have registered cases against nine accused under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The merchants were using Chinese ripener powder, carbide and carbide spray to ripen the fruits, said Krishna district Regional Vigilance and Enforcement Officer (RVEO) M. Ravindranath Babu, who monitored the raids. “Raids will be conducted in other places too, he added.
The ripened mango was to be supplied from the respective godowns to the retailers across Eastern Krishna district.
Recently, the district authorities warned the mango traders to give up the practice of using calcium carbide for ripening the fruit with a fine of ₹1 lakh but those warnings fell on deaf ears, leading to the indiscriminate use of calcium carbide in the district.