Health Update: Know FSSAI Direction For Fruit Sellers!


FSSAI Direction For Fruit Sellers: 'Food Safety and Standards Authority of India' i.e. 'FSSAI' has issued a warning to fruit traders and Food Business Operators (FBOs) operating fruit ripening chambers, especially during the mango season, to artificially process fruits. Caution has been taken to ensure strict adherence to the ban on the use of calcium carbide for cooking. FSSAI advised the Food Safety Departments of States, and Union Territories to remain vigilant and take strict action against those involved in such illegal practices as per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and the rules and regulations made thereunder. Is.


Calcium carbide is dangerous to health

Calcium carbide, commonly used to ripen fruits like mangoes, releases acetylene gas which contains harmful traces of arsenic and phosphorus. These substances, also known as 'masala', can cause serious health problems such as dizziness, frequent thirst, burning sensation, weakness, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, and skin ulcers. Additionally, acetylene Gas is equally dangerous for those who deal with it. There is a possibility that calcium carbide may come in direct contact with the fruits and leave arsenic and phosphorus residues on the fruits.

strictly prohibited

Due to these hazards, the use of calcium carbide for ripening fruits has been banned under Regulation 2.3.5 of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sale) Regulations, 2011. This regulation clearly states, “No person shall sell or offer for sale or expose or keep on his premises for sale, fruits of any description which contain acetylene gas, commonly known as carbide gas. ", are known to have been artificially prepared by the use of."

ethylene gas allowed

Given the issue of the large-scale use of banned calcium carbide for the ripening of fruits, FSSAI has allowed the use of ethylene gas as a safe alternative for the ripening of fruits in India. Depending on the crop, variety, and maturity, ethylene gas can be used in concentrations up to 100 ppm (100 μl/L). Ethylene, a naturally occurring hormone in fruits, control the ripening process by initiating and controlling a series of chemical and biochemical activities. Treatment of unripe fruits with ethylene gas triggers the natural ripening process until the fruit itself begins to produce sufficient amounts of ethylene. Moreover, the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIB&RC) has approved Ethephon 39% SL for the early ripening of mangoes and other fruits.

FSSAI guidelines

FSSAI has published a comprehensive guidance document. This document suggests food business operators follow the process of artificial ripening of fruits by ethylene gas. The document contains a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) covering all aspects of the artificial ripening of fruits by ethylene gas, such as restrictions, the requirement of ethylene ripening system/chambers, handling conditions, sources of ethylene gas, Protocol for application of ethylene gas from various sources, post-treatment operations, safety guidelines, etc.

'Strict action will be taken'

If any wrong practice of any use of Calcium Carbide or use of Artificial Ripening Agents for artificial ripening of fruits is noticed by the consumers, the same may be brought to the notice of the concerned State Food Safety Commissioners so that such people Action can be taken against.