Lahore : The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) on Wednesday discarded a huge quantity of the mango owing to use calcium carbide (CaC2) for artificial ripening.
The food watchdogs have discarded 1,262kg chemically contaminated mangoes while checking 35 fruit markets of Punjab in a crackdown against those food business operators (FBOs) who involved in this crime. This was informed by PFA Director General retired Captain Muhammad Usman.
The provincial food regulatory body has checked 114 stalls of 11 markets in Lahore Zone, 91 stalls in 13 markets in Multan Zone and 125 stalls in Rawalpindi Zone. PFA also served warning notices for improvement to 105 FBOs during raids. Muhammad Usman said that the use of CaC2 strictly prohibited in Punjab to artificially ripen fruits.
He said that the demand for mangoes usually increased in summer season due to its numerous health benefits and taste, however, some FBOs of mangoes industry started this bad practice. He said that around the globe for artificial ripening of fruits Ethylene is used that diminishes the risk of diseases. He said that PFA is taking all necessary steps to make successful the mission of Punjab government “Safe Food, Healthy Punjab”.
In this connection, PFA has conducted 443 awareness seminars for FBOs who associated to fruit business in the last few months.