Those who are into the habit of forcing fruits to ripe prematurely in order to consume them, or sell to others who consume them have been warned to desist from the habit as it is dangerous to human health and can cause damage to the liver and other vital organs.
This warning is being made by Dr Adamu Onu of Garki General Hospital, Abuja. Onu, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja, on Tuesday, said the application of chemicals on fruits caused such fruits to ripe prematurely. He further said the practice distorts the natural taste and flavour of such fruits, while he advised fruits dealers, who usually applied carbide on fruits, to desist from the act.
Also, Miss Ebere Nwachukwu, an industrial chemist, condemned the practice of hastening the natural ripening processes of fruits with chemicals. Nwachukwu said the practice could cause fruits to lose natural ingredients and the supplements they were meant to provide.
According to her, “Ripening is the final stage of the maturation process; any attempt to force a fruit to ripe prematurely can destroy the natural ingredients in it… Calcium carbide absorbs moisture and produces acetylene, which is a weak analog of ethylene, responsible for triggering ripening process,” she explained.