The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has raised concerns on the looming danger and health implication of ripening fruits with calcium carbide. Adeyeye raised the concern at the flag off of the NAFDAC media sensitisation workshop on dangers of drug hawking and ripening of fruits with calcium carbide in Abuja.
She said since 2019, NAFDAC had taken some decisive steps such as sensitisation of the public through different media outlets, enforcement through intelligence and raids in fruit markets that had resulted in seizures and destruction of violative products. She said the ripening of fruits with carbides was another public challenge facing Nigerians today and that the agency had deployed a multifaceted approach to tackling the menace. “NAFDAC has noticed the dangerous practice of sales and consumption of fruits, artificially ripened with calcium carbide as well as illegal hawking of drugs in the open market.
“Fruits provide the body with micronutrients that improve immunity and prevent diseases among other benefits. Fruit ripening is a unique aspect of plant development, which makes the fruit edible, softer, sweeter, more palatable, nutritious, and attractive. The consumption of fruits such as mango, banana, plantain, guava, orange, grape, among others or any other fruits ripened with calcium carbide, is 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”.