FDA warns public against use of calcium carbide for ripening food

Food and Drugs Authority

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has warned the public against the use of calcium carbide for ripening food, describing it as hazardous.

Food and Drugs Authority“The FDA wishes to seize the occasion to strongly caution traders and the public against the use of calcium carbide for ripening fruits or food processing because it is carcinogenic and hazardous both to the consumer and the handler,” a statement issued by the Authority on April 17, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said.

The statement was a response to a social media video on the use of calcium carbide as a chemical for enhancing the ripening of mangoes.

The alleged video also sought to educate viewers on how to distinguish chemically ripened mangoes from naturally ripened ones using a “floating test”.

The FDA said it embarked on a survey at major markets and sales points across the country and did not find any sampled mangoes containing calcium carbide.

The Authority said the survey and testing were still ongoing.

However, it cautioned that the use of the supposed “floating test” to ascertain whether a mango was naturally ripened or chemically ripened as shown in the video was not a proven standard test.

Scientifically, the cause of the floating of the fruit could be attributed to several other factors, including pest infestation through the activities of fruit flies and mango moths, the FDA said and asked the public to ignore it.

The Authority also urged the public to report any incidents of chemicals being used to ripen fruits for appropriate actions.



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