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Business News/ News / India/  Top food regulator directs states to act against unauthorized use of artificial fruit ripening agents
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Top food regulator directs states to act against unauthorized use of artificial fruit ripening agents

Recently, the apex food regulator came across several reports with food business operators who were not complying with the FSSAI guidelines, which specifically restricts the direct contact of ethylene powder/liquid with the fruits, thus making fruits unsafe to consume

The top food regulator has directed the states to undertake a special drive for awareness building among the FBOs about the usage of ethylene gas as a ripening agent in an approved manner only.Premium
The top food regulator has directed the states to undertake a special drive for awareness building among the FBOs about the usage of ethylene gas as a ripening agent in an approved manner only.

NEW DELHI : The Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has directed state/UT food commissioners to act against food business operators who are unethically using artificial fruit ripening agents. Mostly in summers, artificial fruit ripening agents are used in Mangoes. 

Recently, the apex food regulator came across several reports with food business operators who were not complying with the FSSAI guidelines, which specifically restricts the direct contact of ethylene powder/liquid with the fruits, thus making fruits unsafe to consume. 

“It has been reported that FBOs are not following the said restrictions which is violation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as well as unsafe practice to ripen the fruits artificially," said FSSAI to all State/UT food commissioners in a letter seen by Mint. 

As per the FSSAI Regulations 2011, the use of calcium carbide also known as “masala" is prohibited as a ripening agent for artificial ripening of fruits. 

However, to ensure that artificially ripening of fruits are safe and healthy to consume, FSSAI permits the use of ethylene gas as a concentration of up to 100 ppm (100ul/L) depending upon the crop, variety and maturity for the artificial ripening of fruits. 

The top food regulator has directed the states to undertake a special drive for awareness building among the FBOs about the usage of ethylene gas as a ripening agent in an approved manner only. 

“Strict enforcement action shall be taken against any FBO found indulging in unapproved practices where ethylene powder/liquid is coming in direct contact with fruits, apart from checking any illegal use of calcium carbide for artificial ripening of fruits under your jurisdictions," said the letter.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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Updated: 20 Apr 2023, 10:47 PM IST
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