Officials keep an eye on mangoes

Testing time: Food Safety Officer I. Dhanaraju, along with his colleagues, inspects mangoes at a shop near Goubert Market at J.N. Street in Puducherry; seized mangoes loaded in a vehicle.  

With juicy mangoes flooding the market, Food Safety department officials reckon that the time is ripe for carrying out checks on the quality of the popular fruit.

Recently, a team of officials headed by the Food Safety officer I. Dhanraju seized 500 kg of artificially ripened mangoes from a godown inside a shop at Bharathi Street.

Mr. Dhanraju said that they had conducted raids in 17 shops at Nehru Street and three shops at Bharathi Street as a part of the seasonal routine work. During the raid, the officials found that mangoes were ripened using calcium carbide, a chemical substance. On searching a godown, four packets of sachets, each weighing 25 gm were concealed in seven trays of mangoes.

The traders purchase mangoes from Marakkanam, Vennangupattu, Kottikadu and other dealers from Tamil Nadu in bulk and use chemicals to boost up the sales during the peak season. “The mangoes will be destroyed and the shopkeeper will charged under rule 44AA of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act where artificial ripening agents are not permitted,” said the officer.

Such tactics had been around at least for over a decade, but over the last four years there was a decline in the usage of calcium carbide thanks to frequent department raids. The periodic raids had been a major deterrent to traders resorting to unfair practices which were also a health hazard to consumers, an official said.

Besides, these days awareness among consumers about the harmful effects of consuming artificially ripened fruits has also improved, officials said.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 2:58:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/officials-keep-an-eye-on-mangoes/article24119670.ece

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