The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC has set up a multi dimensional approach to tackle the practice of using calcium carbide and other chemicals in ripening of fruits across the country.


The Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye stated this at the opening of a Media Sensitization Workshop on Dangers of Ripening of Fruits with Calcium Carbide in Lafia,  Nasarawa State capital.


Professor Adeyeye explained that NAFDAC had adopted decisive measures to check activities of fruit sellers who indulge in artificial ripening of their products by using chemicals especially calcium carbides which are harmful to humans.


Participants at the workshop

She noted that fruits were natural food items whose benefits include providing the body with micronutrients, improving immunity and preventing diseases if left to ripe naturally to make them edible, softer, sweeter, more palatable, nutritious, and attractive.



The NAFDAC Director General pointed out that fruits such as mango, banana, plantain, guava, orange, grape, ripened with calcium carbide could be dangerous to health.


“Fruits artificially ripened with calcium carbide may be ripe on the skin, the inside remain unripe. You can identify such artificially ripened fruits if you notice that the fruits are all yellow whereas the stem is dark, this is true especially with banana and plantain. In addition, naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black spots, while those artificially ripened have traces of powdery substances and peel off quickly,” she said.




Professor Adeyeye remarked that calcium carbide is alkaline in nature and contains impurities that can expose the body to several health hazards including cancer, heart, kidney and liver failure as well as skin ulcer.



Media workers from the North Central Geopolitical Zone of the country attended the workshop.



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