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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fruits - Are they keeping us fit or otherwise?

During our weekend purchases, this season's fruit captured our attention as usual.... it is nothing but Mangoes from India. As you know, in addition to the 40 degrees plus heat, Mangoes are the next attraction of this summer season, in Tamilnadu. Even in Singapore, Little India area was full of Mango crates of different varieties.

We pocketed few, since this is the end of the season. But the immediate question which hit my mind, was whether it is worth eating?? Whether it is from reliable source?

Reason being, the news article in SUN TV a couple of days back. Several boxes of Mangoes were seized and thrown in Madurai, since the trader was found to have used Calcium-Carbide, to ripen the mangoes.

It would be delicious to taste Mangoes which have gone through the natural processing of riping. But due to commercial reasons and the high demand in the season, traders are sorting to these kind of gimmicks to market the unriped mangoes. They follow the artificial maturation process by keeping small amount of carbide in a paper pocket, inside the Mango crates. Eventhough,this process reduces the time taken for the manoges to ripen, it diminishes the quality and taste. Certain companies are marketing their Mangoes with guarantees that they are sun -ripened on the tree through its full term. (I hope I bought the right one...)

Initially, I thought it is only happening in our state (to my knowledge). Later on, I found out that it is a common trick followed by several Mango growing countries, at international level. Read this article.

Profit-making attitude is entering each and every avenue, nowadays. This Mango industry is not an exception to that rule. But, the ultimate effect is on the quality and flavour of the fruit. அவ்வையாரின் 'சுட்ட பழம் வேணுமா, சுடாத பழம் வேணுமா' வசனம் தான் ஞாபகம் வருது.... ..இப்போ எந்த பழம் Carbideல சுட்டது, எது சுடாததுனு பார்த்து எடுக்கணும் போல?

சுட்ட பழமா? சுடாத பழமா?

Another news, related to the same quality issue ....Everyone knows about the well known say 'An Apple a Day, keeps the doctor away'. But, can this say retain its glory after few years, in this profit oriented world? If you think that the Apple which you are buying is a fresh one, just reconsider once again... It may look fresh and shiny, but might not have been plucked just few weeks back. Sometimes, it may be 6 months old.

Recently, I read in Junior Vikatan that, in India too many cold-storage facilities have come up everywhere to maintain the freshness of fruits. Due to the seasonal nature of the Apples, the traders are bringing them at the appropriate season and storing there even upto 6 months. In addition to this freshness issue, the acid cleansing for keeping the apples shiny, may affect the quality of the apples if it exceeds the limit. Eventhough, the acid cleansing is followed internationally for polishing the apples(!!!), too much of artificial dressing may affect the ultimate quality.

How much acid used for polishing?

So, what is the limit for these type of artificial processes?

I hope that, the health authorities in India, will lay down some more rules in this respect. They need to keep a constant watch and ensure that the traders in this industry adhere to those health rules, strictly. Otherwise, even the doctors cannot advise their patients to take fruits, confidently. It should not end up like this cycle of

'Health problem > Fruits > Health problem due to the fruits > ???'


Blogger Kaps said...

Since you have scared me by giving all the behind the scenes action looks like I need to shift from fruits to junk food.

Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger Chez said...


You are right. Nowadays, in most cases we see the use of 'Approved' Food flavours and 'Artificial Flavour enhancers'. We do not know to what extent they affect our body!!!

If this is the case now, then i wonder, what'll happen when the GM crops and fruits come into market!!

Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:44:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


Previously people used to check for ingredients on the packaged food and not for fruits & vegetables.

The way processing is being done for these fruits and vegetables nowadays, customers may expect a similar list of ingredients used for processing. That is not a bad idea, isn't it.

Atleast, you will take them without fear.

Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:59:00 PM  
Blogger Ram C said...


As you rightly said, GM Crops need to be monitored very closely for its quality. Eventhough, the yield may be too good for these GM Crops, the contents of the product are important.

Hope the Food authorities are watching this industry as well.

Sunday, May 29, 2005 8:01:00 PM  
Blogger Nitin said...


No trackbacks enabled on your blog; so I thought I'll inform you that I've featured two of your posts on this week's blogside review of the Indian economy.


Monday, June 06, 2005 1:41:00 AM  

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