SRINAGAR: Over 11 quintals of mangoes found to be treated with Calcium Carbide for quick ripening were destroyed by a team of Food Safety Officers in Srinagar.
The team raided Parimpora Mandi and inspected stock of various Wholesale Fruit dealers. During the inspection some of them were found in possession of mango boxes in which the pouches of Calcium Carbide as ripening catalyst were found.
What does Calcium Carbide do?
Calcium carbide popularly known as ‘masala’ though banned under PFA rules, 1955 and also under Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 made there under. Calcium carbide is colourless when pure but greyish-white to black in colour otherwise, with garlic like order. When it reacts with water, it produces acetylene gas (Popularly referred to as carbide gas) which is an analogue to ethylene and quickens the ripening process.
A strong reactive chemical, Calcium Carbide has cancer-causing properties. It contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus hydride. The early symptoms of arsenic and phosphorus poisoning include diarrhoea with or without blood, burning sensation of chest and abdomen, thirst, weakness, difficulty in swallowing, irritation or burning in the eyes and skin, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath. Higher exposure may cause a build-up of fluids in the lungs.
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