I love my fruits, and reading this article about using calcium carbide to ripen fruits artificially is scary.
I had a bunch of queries.
Is there any easy way to determine if a fruit is artificially ripened? Especially calcium carbide?
I live in Bengaluru South, any sources where we can buy fruits without these chemicals?
@madhuchandan (Organic Mandya) @shashi (Akshaykalpa) tagging you here to see if you have any answers.
If we create a demand and little premium on the pricing, it will help Madhu and Shashi both.
Hi Nitin, You can grab your fruits from Farmizen - https://shop.farmizen.com - there is no artificial ripening done. Carbide of course, is illegal. But we don’t do ethylene chamber ripening as well - which pretty much is the industry norm everywhere, including organic channels, and is legal.
We do not do ethylene chamber ripening because when fruits are ripened with that external trigger, the sugars don’t develop well - and they don’t taste good. I don’t have access to a research report on the nutrition aspect of it - but its likely that the nutrition profile in artificially ripened fruit is sub-par as well.
That’s why most banana in the market tastes so bland. That’s why people love Farmizen mangos even if they are costlier, than elsewhere.
We tell consumers that they need to ripen the fruits at home - by keeping them in a box/brown paper bag etc and let it take time to ripen. This is not how people have got trained to buy fruit nowadays - so some consumers get upset by it, but we are OK only selling to consumers who are willing to understand why we do it like that.
When consumers try to let it ripen at home - 4 things can happen - 1. they may run out of patience 2. they may handle it incorrectly (put it into the fridge instead of letting it be on the countertop) 3. when ripening, it may develop a rot, especially if there is any wrong handling. 4. you have amazingly tasty fruit which reminds you of fruit from your own orchard, minus the chemical ripening. We hope to get more of #4 occurrences with Farmizens.
The easy way to identify is to trust your taste buds - if it tastes nice and flavourful and sweet - it has a higher probability of having been naturally ripened.
Natural ripening is the process by which fruits mature and develop their flavor, texture, and color over time, usually while still attached to the plant or tree. Artificial ripening, on the other hand, is the process of speeding up the ripening process by using chemicals, such as ethylene gas or calcium carbide.
Here are some ways to identify natural ripening vs artificial ripening:
- Appearance: Fruits that have undergone natural ripening will have a consistent color and texture, with no signs of external damage or discoloration. Artificially ripened fruits, however, may have uneven color, soft spots, or other signs of damage.
- Smell: Naturally ripened fruits will have a natural, pleasant aroma, while artificially ripened produce may have a chemical or unpleasant smell.
- Taste: Naturally ripened fruits and vegetables will have a rich, sweet flavor that is characteristic of the fruit or vegetable. Artificially ripened produce may have a bland taste or an artificial flavor.
- Texture: Naturally ripened produce will have a firm, yet yielding texture that is appropriate for the fruit or vegetable. Artificially ripened fruits and vegetables may be overly soft or mushy.
- Ripening time: Natural ripening occurs gradually over time, while artificial ripening can occur very quickly, within a few days or even hours.
In general, it’s best to choose fruits that have undergone natural ripening, as they will have the best flavor and nutritional content. If you suspect that fruit has been artificially ripened, it’s best to avoid it and choose another option.
OM doesn’t promote artificial ripening, you can get naturally ripened fruits at our store.
@NithinKamath, This is Deepak, founder/ CEO of GreenPod Labs. We’re an Agritech startup developing all-natural solutions to reduce fruit and vegetable spoilage in ambient conditions.
The use of different forms of Carbide has been happening for several years. The government has banned it for the last 10 years but still, people in the market are using it. There are a few ways how you can potentially detect if the fruit was ripened using carbide or not:
Natural ripening process starts from the flesh of the fruit and then eventually changes the color of the fruit. Carbide would happen vice-versa - it would change the color of the fruit first (traders would just sell it once the color changes). The color of the mango would be usually pale yellow. You can ask the vendor to cut a fruit that looks yellow and see if the flesh inside is fully ripened (color change and juicy flesh).
Carbide-ripened fruit will have zero to negligible flavor on them since the internal flavonoids are not formed yet. However, naturally ripened fruit will have a strong flavor/ smell to them
Happy to discuss further on this. At GreenPod Labs, we have developed products that can support the natural ripening process in mangoes and help traders transition from carbide and other harmful chemical sources.
@madhuchandan I remember growing up munching on the green coloured bananas (pachh baale) which I haven’t seen in the past 10 years I think. It’s only the yellow ones now… do you know what happened to them? They used to be my fav fruit. They used to be more sweet and crisp. The yellow ones now are lesser sweet and doughy. Remembered them when I saw these yellow ones with the brown spots.