Various chemicals are being utilised to ripen fruits and these chemicals are being used in ad-hoc manner without authentication from the food department. Markets are flooded with fruits but this quick and easy way of ripening fruits have caused a steep decline in their nutritional content. One of the most widely used chemical named calcium carbide used for ripening fruits is adjudged as unsafe for human consumption by the US FDA. Studies have even suggested that it can be a potential cause of cancer.
In a bid to cater to the rising demand of fruits even during the off-season, fruit growers and sellers have resorted to chemical ripening. It is mainly the developing countries in Asia that is making use of calcium carbide extensively to attain pre-mature ripening of fruits. Besides depreciating the nutritional value of fruits, calcium carbide is toxic in nature and is hazardous for our health. Here are some important reasons why you should abstain from consuming artificially ripened fruits:
Shorter Shelf Life
Fruits these days tend to get extra soft and rotten soon after purchasing. Even after storing them in appropriate climate conditions, they tend to lose their freshness quickly. This is because they have been artificially ripened using chemicals. Even though this method speeds up the ripening process, the fruits get spoilt soon after ripening. In as little as 2 or 3 days, you may find mangoes and bananas losing their stiffness and even taste.
Reduces Nutritional Value
The very purpose of consuming fruits is to have the nutritional gift of nature coated with most natural sugars. If chemical ripening causes a decline in the nutritional value of these fruits, then what we are consuming is nothing but waste. Even many medical studies have revealed that nutritional value of fruits is significantly lost when they come in contact with such powerful chemicals.
Loss Of Natural Taste
Another major loss in consuming artificially ripened fruits is that they lack the natural taste and aroma. This is also one of the easiest ways to differentiate between the naturally and artificially ripened fruits. Some of the most common victims of chemical ripening are bananas, mangoes and water melons. They not only lack the taste and fragrance but sometimes, the fruits does look abstract too. Naturally ripened fruits take their course of time to gain that flavour, aroma and appearance. The forced ripening method hastens the process, thereby, destroying the originality of the fruits in all aspects
Ill Effects On Humans
Since these artificially ripened fruits comprise of calcium carbide (also known as carcinogen), they can cause severe damage to the nervous system leading to neurological problems too. When this calcium carbide is dissolved in water, traces of phosphorus, arsenic and acetylene gas are released and this may result in health disorders like headache, mood swings, dizziness and even excessive sleepiness.
Such infusion of chemicals in fruits contaminate it and can even be reasons for heart ailments, memory impairment, cerebral edema, etc in the long run. These chemicals are so dangerous that people handling them are highly prone to suffer from cheilitis, which causes cracking of lips and even leads to rashes.
If you intake these artificially ripened fruits, then you are at a higher risk of suffering from skin rashes, mouth ulcers, gastric and stomach disorders, etc. Pregnant women must abstain from consuming these hazardous fruits as these chemicals may cause miscarriage of baby and may even cause abnormalities in babies.
As per many researches, fruits basically contain a ripening hormone in the form of ethylene that regulates the ripening process in fruits. Therefore, instead of infusing fruits with calcium carbide, it would be better if they are artificially released with ethylene. Overall, there is nothing as beneficial as naturally ripened fruits if you want to obtain high nutrition and great flavour.