Dirty facts about artificial ripening of fruits which is very harmful!!

Artificial Ripening of fruits

What do you mean by the artificial ripening of fruits?

Fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious and key food of the human. The best way to stay healthy is consuming seasonal fruits when braving scorching summer days.

Fruits are a necessary part of a healthy diet as they are a great source of vitamins that are needed to maintain your body.

Naturally, ripening begins with the dissipation of chlorophyll in the plant.

Ripening is a process of fruits that causes them to become edible. Ripening is done through gas emission systems or ethylene generator systems, depending on quality and shelf life desired.

Is it good for health?

The chemicals are used to ripe fruits as early as artificially method. Nowadays, several artificial ripeners are available in the market such as calcium carbide, acetylene gas, carbon monoxide, potassium sulfate, ethephon, potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate, putrisein, oxytocin, protoporphyrinogen, etc.

Though fruits like mangoes, banana naturally ripen on trees by using chemicals to ripen them artificially which speed up the ripening process. All the distributors and retailers use certain methods to increase their shelf life and earn more profit without thinking of effects of a chemical on human health.

After countless studies, ripening agents are toxic and has been linked to a wide range of human health hazards quite often death-defying to a person’s health. Chemicals used for artificial ripening of fruits can cause cancer.

The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) has listed a number of chemical agents that can cause cancer. Even serious health problems such as heart disease, skin disease, lung failure and kidney failure can also crop up.

Scientists have also reported that regular consumption of artificial-ripened fruits may cause dizziness, weakness, skin ulcer and heart-related diseases.

Thus, this practice has been going on for ages and has very pathetic and feeble upshots to public health.

Common practices of artificial ripening

  • Lady’s fingers are dyed in copper sulfate to make them look greener
  • Brinjals treated with condemned oil for that shiny look
  • Tomatoes injected to look attractive red and bigger
  • Calcium carbide and ether are used to artificially ripe Bananas
  • Most mustard oil brands contain iron beyond permissible limits.
  • A host of rice varieties available in the market are artificially whitened using the toxic fertilizer
  • Carrots are dipped in red water
  • Bananas are ripened in scientific ways will have a uniform color, good taste, and longer shelf life.
Adulteration in food
Adulteration in food

Chemicals used in Artificial Ripening of fruits and vegetables

SNo Chemicals Fruits
1. Calcium carbide banana, mango,citrus,tomato, plum,peaches
2. Ethephon apple, currants, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, morello cherries, citrus, fig, tomatoes, sugar beets, coffee, capsicum, wheat, tobacco, cotton, pineapple, rice
3. Ethylene apple, avocados, banana, melon, peaches,  pears,  tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, leafy green, lettuce
4. Oxytocin melon, cucumber
5. Aminoethoxyvinylglycline apple (delay ripening)
6. putrescine plum
7. n-valeric acid  sugarcane
8. Protoporphyrinogen sugarcane
Artificial ripeners
artificial ripeners


Every food items such as water, milk, edible oil and ghee, substandard noodles, biscuits.

Food adulteration, also known as “food fraud,” occurs intentionally either by the admixture or substitution of inferior substances partially or fully with something or by the removal of some valuable ingredient- without the knowledge of the consumer.

Adulteration has not spared anything on our kitchen shelf. According to the recent report, there are various adulterated food items used in our daily diet.

For instance, mixing turmeric with yellow metallic powder, chili powder is mixed with brick’s powder and talcum powder and mixing ghee and butter with vanaspati are some of the old tricks.

Similarly, take a look at some sweets like jalebis and boondi—they are unnaturally yellow. Adulterated food is impure, unsafe, or unwholesome food as its consumption affects our health and in a way may be termed as a slow killer which may turn out to be worse than death.

Food adulteration with the poisonous chemical can cause diseases cancer like colon, peptic ulcer diseases, and chronic liver diseases including cirrhosis and liver failure, electrolyte imbalance and eventually kidney failure.

Some heart diseases, blood disorders, and bone marrow abnormality are also detected. Chance of neurological impairment or brain functions and malignancy increases and, skin problems are seen allergic manifestation.

It creates health hazards and can kill the human being for people business interest.

Chemicals Used in Ripening of Fruits & Vegetables

  1. Chemicals like calcium carbide, oxytocin and Ethephon are reportedly being used in fruit and vegetable mandis and farms for artificial ripening of fruits. Sometimes it is also used for increasing the size of fruits and vegetables respectively.
  2. Calcium carbide is more commonly known as ‘masala’ and is a carcinogenic agent and banned under the act of Food Safety and Standards Regulations 2011.
  3. Ethephon is used as a plant growth regulator, Ethephon is an agent of early maturity used in wheat, coffee, tobacco, cotton, pineapple, and rice.
    Ethephon is available in the market and used as pre-harvest ripener in Mango, Pineapple, Cucumber, Groundnut, Coffee, Tomato, and Rubber.
  4. Oxytocin is a neurohypophysial mammalian hormone, used as a drug in veterinary services and is not advised for use in fresh fruits and vegetables. But it has been practised on melon, cucumber, and lactating mammals.
  5. Acetylene gas, which is released when Calcium Carbide comes in contact with moisture, affects the neurological systems of the human body.
  6. Putrescine is a pre-harvest ripener and reduced respiration rate. it is reduced fruit softening. level of ascorbic acid, carotenoids level and total antioxidant in plum cultivation.
  7. Aminoethoxyvinylglycine used in covering apple fruits with double layer waterproof bags to enhance fruit quality and evenness of blush color in some countries such as Korea and Japan.
artificial ripening of fruits by ethylene
artificial ripening of fruits by ethylene

General Advice to Consumers

  • Select fruits and vegetables only those are without spots or necrosis (lesions) and any abnormality.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with water running water before eating and cooking.
  • Purchase fruits and vegetables from known dealers or some assigned label market
  • Exposure to pesticides will be reduced by peeling of fruits and vegetables before consumption
  • Do not buy and consume cut fruits from an open market.
  • Throw away fruits and vegetables which are infected by Mould or fungus.
  • To minimize the hazards of pesticide residues, discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage.
  • Do not wash fruits and vegetables with detergents as they may get absorbed inside.
  • Ensure the quality of fruits and vegetables by sending them to testing laboratories like Envirocare Labs.
  • Wash your hands with soap and potable water
  • Use a clean utensil and clean cutting board like stainless steel knives.


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