If you have ever cut an orange open and find that the inner part is not a reflection of the outer part, you should be on the lockout to report any of such orange and other fruits' sellers.

Those that are in the habit of forcing fruits to ripe with chemicals should desist from such act now or get ready to face the consequence of their actions.

This is because the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is coming after you, as it has concluded plans to begin nationwide monitoring of fruit markets to check this dangerous activity.

The Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Moji Adeyeye, announced the plan in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

Adeyeye stated that the agency decided to take the measure because it had become common practice among some desperate traders and farmers to hasten the process of fruit ripening using hazardous chemicals like calcium carbide.

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 “As part of our mandate, NAFDAC is on high alert to respond to any practice or process that will jeopardise the health of the population.

 “The consumption of fruits such as mango, banana, plantain, guava, orange, grape, etc or any other fruits ripened with calcium carbide is dangerous to health,” she highlighted.

Health Hazard

According to her, artificial ripening of fruit affects its quality - colour, taste and feel - which are lost considerably. It does not also give the natural aroma and flavour to the fruits.

She noted that calcium carbide, when sprayed with water, react chemically to produce acetylene, which act like ethylene and ripen fruits by a similar process.

"Calcium carbide generally contain impurities such as arsenic, lead particles and phosphorus, which pose a number of serious health hazards, the NAFDAC boss emphasised.

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She added that “these impurities may cause serious health problems when consumed.

“The consumption of such fruits containing these impurities may cause cancer, heart, kidney and liver failure.”

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Adeyeye, therefore, warned farmers, traders and the public that ripening fruits with calcium carbide was dangerous to health and a criminal offence, and perpetrators would be prosecuted.

  If you enjoyed reading this and our other stories, please, share with friends and loved ones and help stop artificial fruit ripening.