Chennai

Food Safety Dept. seizes 10 tonnes of artificially ripened bananas in Chennai’s Koyambedu market

Food Safety Department officials during a raid at a shop in Koyambedu wholesale fruit market in Chennai on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
Special Correspondent CHENNAI: 13 November 2019 09:48 IST
Updated: 13 November 2019 09:48 IST

A plant growth hormone was found to be directly sprayed on the fruits to speed up the ripening process, says Designated Officer A. Ramakrishnan

The Food Safety Department on Wednesday seized a total of 10 tonnes of artificially ripened bananas from three shops and godowns in the Koyambedu wholesale fruit market. The bananas, worth ₹10 lakh, were destroyed in the bio methanisation plant inside the market complex.

Designated Officer A. Ramakrishnan said that a plant growth hormone was found to be directly sprayed on the fruits to speed up the ripening process. “Direct spraying is not permitted under the Food Safety Standards Act. Hence, the shops were issued notices under Sections 55, 57 and 50 of the Act. It usually takes three-four days for the fruit to ripen naturally but when you spray this, it will take just anywhere between 12-24 hours to become fully ripe. But this also reduces the shelf life of the fruit,” he said.

The early morning raids were conducted by 10 food safety officers at 34 shops after watching these establishments for 10 days.

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Samples of artificially ripened bananas were sent to the Food Analytical Lab for further analysis, he said.

Though awareness programmes were being conducted among traders in the market, of late some were found to violate rules. “We started getting information regarding artificial ripening, which is why we conducted the raids,” Dr. Ramakrishnan said.

Meanwhile, fruit shops running without valid Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Licence/Registration were served notices.

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