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Comparative Study on the Ripening Ability of Artificial Ripening Agent (Calcium Carbide) and Natural Ripening Agents

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Commercial ripening has become an important aspect fruit industry. People consume fruits, ripened with hazardous chemicals like calcium carbide which pose great health risks to the population. Therefore, the present study was designed to compare natural ripening agents (apple, pear, tomato) with artificial ripening agent (calcium carbide) for ripening of banana. Different Batches of banana were made with natural ripening agents & calcium carbide (1gm and 2 gm). The ripening ability was assessed by keeping the batches in two different storage conditions i.e. paper bag & plastic container. Sensory evaluation was done both by Hedonic scoring. The data revealed that bananas kept in plastic container ripened before those placed in paper bags and were more acceptable. Moreover, bananas placed in containers with apples took only 4 days to ripen whereas those placed with calcium carbide at both concentrations took 5 days. The study concluded that natural ripening agents especially Apple are better as compared to artificial ripener. Also, they are devoid of any potential health risks for the adolescents & adults.
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G.J.B.A.H.S.,Vol.5(2):106-110 (April-June,2016) ISSN: 2319 5584
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Comparative Study on the Ripening Ability of Artificial Ripening Agent
(Calcium Carbide) and Natural Ripening Agents
Surbhi Gandhi1*, Mahak Sharma2 & Barkha Bhatnagar3
1 M.Sc. student, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, ManavRachna International University, Faridabad. 9911368157.
2Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, ManavRachna International University, Faridabad.
3Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, ManavRachna International University, Faridabad.
*Correspondence Author
ABSTRACT
Commercial ripening has become an important aspect fruit industry. People consume fruits, ripened with hazardous
chemicals like calcium carbide which pose great health risks to the population. Therefore, the present study was designed
to compare natural ripening agents (apple, pear, tomato) with artificial ripening agent (calcium carbide) for ripening of
banana. Different Batches of banana were made with natural ripening agents & calcium carbide (1gm and 2 gm). The
ripening ability was assessed by keeping the batches in two different storage conditions i.e. paper bag & plastic
container. Sensory evaluation was done both by Hedonic scoring. The data revealed that bananas kept in plastic container
ripened before those placed in paper bags and were more acceptable. Moreover, bananas placed in containers with apples
took only 4 days to ripen whereas those placed with calcium carbide at both concentrations took 5 days. The study
concluded that natural ripening agents especially Apple are better as compared to artificial ripener . Also, they are devoid
of any potential health risks for the adolescents & adults.
Keywords : Artificial ripening, calcium carbide, natural ripening agents, banana
INTRODUCTION
The South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives have a
wide range of climatic conditions with the altitude and agro-ecology suited for a wide diversity of tropical fruits.The
major fruits grown in these countries are banana, mango, citrus, pineapple and papaya. Besides these, a large number of
minor fruits are also grown in the region such as black berry, tamarind etc. In recent times there is much concern about
artificial ripening of fruits in many parts of the world1.
RIPENING
Ripening is the final stage of development of a fruit which involves series of physiological and biochemical events
leading to changes in colour, flavour, aroma and texture that make the fruits both attractive and tasty. During ripening,
the starch in the fruit breaks down to sugar. The fruit skin color changes green to bright red or yellow. These changes
attract birds, animals and consumers. The ripening of a fruit depends on the season2.Fruit ripening is a highly controlled
and programmed developmental event, involving the co-ordination of a multitude of metabolic changes and involves the
activation and inactivation of various genes leading to biochemical and physiological changes within the tissue3-6. Fruits
may be classified as climacteric or non-climacteric depending on its respiration rate. Climacteric fruits are characterized
by transient increase in both ethylene synthesis and respiration at an early stage of ripening. The peak of ethylene
production rate is proportional to the peak respiration rate. Fruit softening, color changes, development of taste and
flavour and a number of other parameters of ripening process are associated with the climacteric cycle. The climacteric
fruits are avocado, banana, cherimoya, mango, kiwifruits, apple, apricot, cucurbit, jackfruit, papaya, peach, pear, plum
and tomato. Non- climacteric fruit does not show any increase in respiration and ethylene synthesis during ripening. In
fact, non-climacteric fruits show decline in their respiration rate and ethylene production throughout the ripening process.
Non-climacteric fruits are citrus fruits, cherry, cucumber, grape, lemon, orange, pepper, pineapple, strawberry, etc7.
ARTIFICIAL RIPENING
             d and other
economic factors. People consume fruits, ripened with hazardous chemicals like calcium carbide. These pose great health
risks to consumers8. Fruit sellers artificially ripen green fruits even during the due season to meet the high demand and
ma
can take several days. During this time the naturally ripened fruits may become over ripen and inedible. A part of
naturally ripened fruits can also be damaged during harsh condition of transportation. It indeed increase great economic
loss for the fruit sellers and therefore, to minimize the loss, fruit sellers sometimes prefer collecting fruits before full
maturity and artificially ripen fruits before selling to the consumers9
CHEMICALS USED IN FRUITS
Fruits are highly nutritious and form an important food item in the human diet. On the other hand these are highly
perishable due to their short shelf life. These food commodities are contaminated with toxic and health hazardous
chemicals like calcium carbide, ethylene which are being used for ripening fruits and protecting them from rottening and
damage. Moreover, formalin and some other chemicals are also used for extending the shelf life of fruits which are
reported to cause several health problems like such as dizziness, weakness, ulcer, heart disease, skin disease, lung failure,
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kidney failure and cancer etc. The widespread use of formalin and other chemicals for preservation of fruits has become a
great concern among the people. The chemicals used as spray solution make fruits attractive10.
CALCIUM CARBIDE
Calcium carbide (available as grayish black powder) is commercially intended for welding purpose but its use in the
artificial ripening of climacteric fruits is rampant in many developing countries. Calcium carbide, once dissolved in
water, produces acetylene which acts as an artificial ripening agent23.Fruits ripened with calcium carbide are soft and
have good peel colour development but are poor in flavour. Calcium carbide, popularly known as masala, is used
extensively in mangoes, bananas and papayas and sometimes in apples and plums. Being cheap (one kg of this chemical
costs Rs. 25-30, which can ripen 20 tonnes of fruit), it is indiscriminately used by the traders in preference to other
recommended practices of inducing ripening like dipping fruits in a solution of ethephon, or exposure of fruits to
ethylene gas11.
However, treatment of fruits with calcium carbide is extremely hazardous because the chemical is known to contain
traces of arsenic and phosphorous. Acetylene gas produced by calcium carbide may affect the neurological system by
inducing prolonged hypoxia gradually culminating to headache, dizziness, mood disturbances, sleepiness, mental
confusion, memory loss, cerebral edema and seizures11.
   No person shall sell or offer or expose for
sale or have in his premises for the purpose of sale under any description, fruits which have been artificially ripened by
use of acetylene gas, commonly known as carbide gas
a ripening agent in commercial front12.
METHODOLOGY
The study was divided into 4 phases. Phase I includes procurement & selection of fruits. The unripe fruits i.e.
banana were procured from the local market of Dabua colony, Faridabad. Unripe banana with uniform peel colour and
size were selected. Ripe bananas were excluded. Natural ripening agents i.e. apple, pear and tomato were procured from
the local market of Dabua colony, Faridabad. The fruits were selected on the basis of ethylene production. Unripe fruits
were not included as ripening agents. Also bruised fruits were not used in the experiment. Calcium carbide was procured
by the local chemical vendor from N.I.T 5 local market, Faridabad. The phase II involved experimentation &
observation. Six bunches of unripe banana were labelled as A,B,C,D,E,F containing 5 bananas each were exposed to
similar environmental conditions. These batches were exposed to two different storage conditions i.e. plastic container &
paper bag. These were exposed to varying amounts & types of ripening agents. Thus while batch A was allowed to ripen
naturally, batch B & C were exposed to 1gram & 2gram calcium carbide respectively. Batch D was exposed to single
apple while batch E & F were exposed to single tomato & pear respectively (Table 1). Change in the skin-color from
green to yellow was considered as the stage for the ripening of fruit. Phase III includes, subjective evaluation, which was
done to assess the ripening ability of different batches. Hedonic scoring methods were used in the sensory evaluation of
bananas. For sensory evaluation precautions were taken as recommended by FSSAI, the banana was pealed and then
sensory evaluation was done. Objective evaluation was also done by assessing the titrable acidity and performing
benedicts test. Phase IV includes statistical analysis, SPSS version 20 was used to assess mean, standard deviation and
ANOVA
Precaution Fruits were wash thoroughly with water before sensory evaluation.
Table 1: Formulation of batches for experiment
Batches
Banana
Artificial ripening agent
Natural Ripening Agent
Batch A1
5 Unripe Banana
-
-
Batch B1
5 Unripe Banana
1 gram calcium carbide
-
Batch C1
5 Unripe Banana
2 gram calcium carbide
-
Batch D1
5 Unripe Banana
-
1 Apple
Batch E1
5 Unripe Banana
-
1 Pear
Batch F1
5 Unripe Banana
-
1 Tomato
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
It was observed that the batches stored in plastic container differ in the ripening ability. The banana stored in batch
A took 10 days to ripen while batch B & C took 5 days respectively. Batch D took 4 days while E & F took 7 & 9 days
repectively. Those batches stored in paper bags took 10 days to ripen. Ripening was similar in all the batches of paper
bag storage (Figure 1).
10
10
5
10
5
10
4
10
7
10
9
10
0
5
10
15
PAPER
No of days
A
B
C
D
E
F
Figure 1. Duration taken by different ripening agents for ripening of banana
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BATCHES: A) Control B) Unripe fruit + 1 gram calcium carbide C) Unripe fruit + 2 gram calcium carbide D)
Unripe fruit + Apple E) Unripe fruit + Pear F) Unripe fruit + Tomato
Sensory evaluation revealed (Table 1) that bananas stored with apple (batch D) were the most acceptable in plastic
container storage. However no significant differences were observed in the different batches stored in paper bag storage.
Hedonic scoring was done to collect the data.
Table 2. Mean acceptability score of attributes between the batches: composite scoring (container storage)
Parameters
A
B
C
D
E
F
F-value
P-value
(ANOVA)
Appearance*
1.7±7.78
2.8±0.42
3.0±0.00
4.20±0.42
1.80±0.63
3.10±1.10
2.296
0.049
Skin-colour*
2.4±7.66
2.40±0.96
3.2±1.03
4.30±0.67
1.40±0.96
2.60±1.17
2.436
0.045
Aroma
2.4±6.99
3.50±1.17
3.4±1.17
4.30±0.82
2.20±1.13
3.80±1.31
2.197
0.067
Firmness*
1.6±7.57
2.40±0.69
3.0±0.66
3.8±1.03
1.40±0.84
2.90±0.73
2.407
0.047
Taste*
1.2±2.86
2.80±0.78
3.20±0.91
4.40±0.69
1.50±0.84
2.80±1.03
2.157
0.041
Mouth-feel*
1.4±7.94
2.50±0.84
3.40±0.84
4.40±0.51
1.60±0.69
3.00±0.94
3.557
0.007
Overall
Acceptability*
1.3±7.06
2.80±0.63
3.00±0.81
4.30±0.48
1.60±0.69
3.00±0.93
1.925
0.008
*significance = Level a+P< 0.05
BATCHES: A) Control B) Unripe fruit + 1 gram calcium carbide C) Unripe fruit + 2 gram calcium carbide D)
Unripe fruit + Apple E) Unripe fruit + Pear F) Unripe fruit + Tomato
Table 2 shows the mean acceptability score of attributes between the batches. In appearance, there was a
statistically significant difference (P<0.05) between the batches as determined by one-way ANOVA. Batch D had the
highest mean value i.e. 4.20±0.42 whereas batch A had lowest mean value i.e. 1.7±7.78. Thus batch D was most
acceptable.
Batch D had the highest mean value for skin-color i.e. 4.30±0.67 whereas Batch E had lowest value (1.40±0.96).
Thus batch D was most acceptable & the differences were statistically significant (P<0.05) among batches.
Regarding aroma, highest mean value was for batch D & lowest for batch E. Thus batch D was most acceptable.
However, the difference were not statistically significant (P=0.067).
Batch D had the highest mean value for firmness i.e. 3.8±1.03 whereas Batch E had lowest value1.40±0.84. Thus
batch D was most acceptable & the difference were statistically significant (P<0.05) among batches.
For taste, batch D had highest mean value i.e. 4.40±0.69 whereas batch A had lowest value i.e. 1.2±2.86. Thus
batch D was most acceptable & the differences were statistically significant (P<0.05) among groups.
For mouth-feel, batch D had highest mean value i.e. 4.40±0.51 whereas batch A had lowest value i.e. 1.4±7.94.
Thus batch D was most acceptable. The differences were statistically significant (P<0.05) among groups.
The overall acceptability was highest for batch D with mean value of 4.30±0.48, however it was lowest for batch A.
Thus batch D was most acceptable & the differences were however statistically significant (P<0.05).
Batch D was most acceptable regarding all the attributes regarding all the attributes except aroma and the overall
acceptability was also higher for batch D as compared to other batches.
Table 3. Mean acceptability score of attributes between the batches: composite scoring (ANOVA-TEST)
Parameters
A
B
C
D
E
F
F-value
P-value
(ANOVA)
Appearance
2.9±0.73
2.3±0.94
2.9±0.73
2.9±1.10
3±1.15
2.9±0.87
0.743
0.594
Skin-colour
2.9±0.73
2.8±1.31
3±1.24
3.1±0.87
3±0.66
2.9±0.56
0.123
0.987
Aroma
3.1±0.87
2.8±0.78
3.1±0.73
2.8±0.78
3.1±0.99
2.9±0.87
0.315
0.902
Firmness
3±0.81
2.9±0.73
2.7±0.94
3.4±0.69
3±1.05
3±0.81
0.713
0.617
Taste
2.4±0.96
2.6±1.07
2.9±0.56
3.2±0.78
3.2±0.42
2.9±0.87
1.549
0.19
Mouth-feel
2.9±0.73
2.9±0.99
2.7±0.82
2.9±0.99
3.2±0.91
2.8±1.13
0.315
0.902
Overall Acceptability
3.2±0.63
2.6±0.84
3.4±0.69
3.1±0.87
3.3±0.67
2.9±0.56
1.635
0.197
*significance = Level a+P< 0.05
BATCHES: A) Control B) Unripe fruit + 1 gram calcium carbide C) Unripe fruit + 2 gram calcium carbide D)
Unripe fruit + Apple E) Unripe fruit + Pear F) Unripe fruit + Tomato
Table 3 shows the mean acceptability score of attributes between the batches. With regard to appearance, there was
not a statistically significant difference between the batches as determined by one-way ANOVA. Batch E had the highest
mean value i.e. 3±1.15 whereas batch B had lowest mean value i.e. 2.3±0.94.
Batch D had the highest mean value for skin-color i.e. 3.1±0.87 whereas Batch B had lowest value 2.8±1.31 but the
differences were statistically not significant among batches (P=0.987).
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The aroma had highest mean value for batch E i.e. 3.1±0.99 & lowest for batch B & D but the differences were
statistically not significant among batches (P=0.902).
Batch D had the highest mean value for firmness i.e. 3.4±0.69 whereas Batch C had lowest value i.e. 2.7±0.94 but
the differences were statistically not significant (P=0.617).
For taste, batch D & E had highest mean value whereas batch A had lowest value i.e. 2.4±0.96. Thus batch D & E
were most acceptable. The differences were however, statistically not significant among batches (P=0.190).
For mouth-feel, batch E had highest mean value i.e. 3.2±0.91 whereas batch A had lowest value i.e. 2.7±0.82 but
the differences were statistically not significant among batches (P=0.902).
The overall acceptability was highest for batch E with mean value of 3.3±0.67, however it was lowest for batch B
but the differences were statistically not significant among batches (P=0.197).
Sensory evaluation revealed (Table1) that bananas stored with apple (batch D) were the most acceptable in plastic
container storage. However, no significant differences were observed in the different batches stored in paper bag storage.
Objective evaluation
A) TITRABLE ACIDITY Table 4. Titrable acidity for different batches
Batches
A
B
C
D
E
F
BANANA-PLASTIC STORAGE
0.1
0.107
0.154
0.16
0.107
0.127
BANANA-PAPER BAG STORAGE
0.1
0.106
0.111
0.114
0.117
0.114
BATCHES: A) Control B) Unripe fruit + 1 gram calcium carbide C) Unripe fruit + 2 gram calcium carbide D)
Unripe fruit + Apple E) Unripe fruit + Pear F) Unripe fruit + Tomato
Table 4 showed the titrable acidity of different batches under different storage conditions. In banana-plastic storage
batch D i.e. 0.16 had the highest titrable acidity while batch A had the lowest acidity i.e. 0.1.
In banana-paper bag storage, Batch E had the highest titrable acidity i.e. 0.117 while batch A had the lowest titrable
acidity i.e. 0.1.
BENEDICT’S TEST Table 5. Benedict’s test for banana – plastic storage
BANANA-PLASTIC
STORAGE
COLOUR
Batches
Colour
A
Green
B
Red
C
Dark Red
D
Dark Red
E
Green
F
Red
BATCHES: A) Control B) Unripe fruit + 1 gram calcium carbide C) Unripe fruit + 2 gram calcium carbide D)
Unripe fruit + Apple E) Unripe fruit + Pear F) Unripe fruit + Tomato
Table 5 showed that the benedicts test gives dark red colour in both Batches C & D that means these have the
highest content of reducing sugars and thus are ripened.
Batches A& E showed green colour with benedicts test which means that these are low in reducing sugars & thus
are unripe.
Batches B & F show red colour with benedicts reagent which means these have moderate reducing sugar content
and thus are partially ripe.
Thus batches C & D were most acceptable as they were fully ripened.
Table 6. Benedict’s test for banana – paper bag storage
BANANA-PAPERBAG
STORAGE
Colours
Batches
Colour
A
Dark red
B
Dark red
C
Dark red
D
Dark red
E
Dark red
F
Dark red
BATCHES: A) Control B) Unripe fruit + 1 gram calcium carbide C) Unripe fruit + 2 gram calcium carbide D)
Unripe fruit + Apple E) Unripe fruit + Pear F) Unripe fruit + Tomato
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Table 6 showed that the colour of all the batches is somewhat similar which shows that all the batches contain
reducing sugars and thus are ripe.
CONCLUSION
The present study indicates that apple can be used as a ripening agent for banana as it can reduce the ripening time.
Apple ripened the banana 1 day before calcium carbide so it can be considered as an effective ripening agent as
compared to the other natural & artificial ripening agents. Use of apple as a ripening agent for banana can eliminate the
potential health risks caused by the use of calcium carbide. Also it was observed that plastic storage was better as
compared to paper bag storage as paper is gas permeable.
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
.(2007). Calcium carbide
poisoning via food in childhood. J Emerg Med, 32 (2), pp. 179-180.
12. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 along with the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955.
... Under the current economic situation and lack of improved technologies in Eritrea, ethylene-based ripening methods are unlikely to be expanded. In addition to that, cheaper alternatives such as ethephon and acetylene which are widely used in many other poor countries have been banned due to the negative effects on human health [15]. Therefore, it is important to search for better alternative methods that have no negative effect on human health and at least can be applied at a small-scale ripening system which may have collective contribution towards improving the quality of banana fruits displayed in local markets. ...
... This indicates that the difference in the length of both ripening period and shelf life of banana fruits treated with different ripening methods is due to differences in the amount of ethylene and temperature. Fruits treated with ripened tomato produced relatively limited amount of ethylene [19], which is expected to delay the ripening process [15]. [30] also found difference in the effect of sources of exogenous ethylene application on the ripening period of banana, where avocado with higher ethylene releasing capacity had more impact compared to tomato Mechanical damage is one of the major factors leading to the post-harvest deterioration of banana. ...
Article
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Banana (Musa spp.) is a highly perishable fruit that requires special handling. In Eritrea, post-harvest handling practices are characterized to be poor and as a result, poor fruit quality and high postharvest loss are common. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of different post-harvest handling and ripening methods on quality and shelflife of banana. A Complete Randomized Design (CRD) was used for evaluating a combination of two levels of post-harvest handling and four ripening methods in a factorial combination conducted in the laboratory of Horticulture at Hamelmalo Agricultural College. Peel colour change, physiological weight loss, pulp to peel ratio, total soluble solids (TSS), pulp pH, ripening period and shelf life were parameters studied. The results showed fruits treated with ripened tomato showed improved characteristics in all parameters compared to those treated with smoke from kerosene burning or mixed with moringa leaf. Similarly, fruits brought directly from the farm were better than those collected from the ripening room after passing the conventional postharvest handling. Based on the results of this study, it can be concluded that ripening of banana with the help of tomato improves fruit quality and shelf life. Thu s, it can be a safe and better alternative to smoking from kerosene burning. While moringa leaf has no potential as an alternative. Keywords፡ PostHarvest Handling, Banana, Ripening, Quality, Shelf Life
... Generally, the CaC 2 in fruit ripening has been reported to cause a few undesirable changes in the nutritional contents of the fruits. Several studies have reported a massive decrease in carbohydrate, protein and vitamin C contents of fruits such as banana, pawpaw and mangoes, artificially ripened with CaC 2 ; whereas, the moisture content, ash/fiber contents and titratable acidity concomitantly increased (Adeyemi et al., 2018;Gandhi et al., 2016;Iroka et al., 2016;Maduwanthi and Marapana, 2019). In the same vein, the biochemical parameter -DPPH scavenging activities were recently reported to significantly decrease in mango treated with both lab grade and commercial grade CaC 2 . ...
... Several recent studies have reported positive outcomes with natural products like apples, pear, bush mangoes (Irvingia sp.) and tomatoes in hastening banana ripening. Remarkably, ripening with apple was achieved in a shorter time (4 days) when compared to CaC 2 (5 days) (Gandhi et al., 2016). Moreover, there was no adverse effect on the ripened bananas' nutritional, biochemical, and sensory quality (Singal et al., 2012). ...
Article
The global increase in the demand for ripe fruits has induced unhealthy use of toxic chemicals in fruit ripening. One of such chemicals in common use is calcium carbide (CaC2). Due to its nature, commercial CaC2 is consistently found to contain impurities such as Arsenic and other toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Few studies have only reported acute associative effects of CaC2, whereas there is only sparse evidence of its chronic and long-term impact. This article reviewed all the information on the nature of commercial CaC2 used for food processing. Meanwhile, all reports on the acute effects of CaC2, such as skin burns, skin irritations and inflammation, were summarized. Despite reported acute cases, an increase in commercial CaC2 for fruit ripening has been reported in recent times, especially in developing countries, as many vendors may consider the toxic effects/risks as negligible. Therefore, this study highlighted the paucity in research studies on the chronic impact of commercial CaC2 while proposing possible mechanisms for CaC2 induction of cancer, cardiovascular dysfunction, diabetic mellitus and others. Furthermore, suggestions on further studies to unravel the chronic impacts of CaC2 on health and recommendations for viable alternatives of fruit ripening with minimal or zero toxicity were proffered. Finally, other suggestions such as improving CaC2 detection technologies and innovative grassroots educational programs will strengthen national and international agencies to enforce restrictions on the illicit use of the toxicant for fruit ripening.
... [5] reported that farmers in most developed countries apply unregulated amount of artificial ripening agents to satisfy local and international fruit demand. This activity according to [6] and [7] was done without considering the toxic and hazardous effects on human health. In recent year artificial fruit ripening has been considered a matter of concern and the effect of these ripening agents have become questionable because of various health related issues [8]. ...
... The data obtained in this study revealed the mutagenic and cytotoxic at every concentration. The use of natural ripening agents like Venna leaves [4], apple fruit [6], Bowdichia virgilioides leaves [15] and Jatropha curcas leaves [32] should be encouraged. ...
Article
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This study was carried out to evaluate the cytotoxic potential of Calcium carbide (CaC 2) on Onion (Allium cepa L.) root tip cells. To achieve this goal, root tips of Allium cepa were grown in different concentrations of Calcium carbide (CaC 2) (0.25g, 0.50g, 0.75g and 1.00g)/ 250 ml and distilled water was used as control for the study. Root tips of Allium cepa grown in the treatments and control were harvested daily between 7:30am and 8:30am for cytological studies. Pretreatment, fixation, hydrolysis, squashing and staining of cells for mitotic study were carried out and data were taken on cytological parameters under X400 magnification of the light microscope. Data obtained on these parameters were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) while means with significant different across concentration were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT). Results obtained in this study showed that Calcium carbide (CaC 2) significantly induces binucleate cells, vacuolated cells, sticky chromosomes, C-mitosis cells and Anaphase Bridge across the different concentrations which indicates mutagenic and cytotoxic activities of the chemical. The higher Relative Mutation Rate (RMR) and Relative Division Rate (RDR) in relation to the control observed at higher concentrations (i.e. 0.75g and 1.00g) suggests stimulatory effects of Calcium carbide (CaC 2). These findings indicated that Calcium carbide (CaC 2) is mutagenic and cytotoxic to Allium cepa dividing cells and may not be a safe chemical for use as fruit ripening agent. We therefore recommended that the use of Calcium carbide (CaC 2) for fruit ripening should be discouraged while use of safer ripening agents should be encouraged.
... People consume fruits that are artificially ripen with calcium carbide not knowing the adverse health risks they are exposed to ( Gandhi et al., 2016 ). The use of calcium carbide poses lots of potential health hazards to human health ( HSI, 2015 ). ...
Article
Full-text available
The study evaluated the effect of artificially ripened tropical banana (musa.spp) using calcium carbide (CaC2) as an ripening agent. Sub-lethal levels; 0g/kg, 1g/kg, 5 g/kg and 10 g/kg of CaC2 were administered on unripe banana . Resultant levels of heavy metals, vitamins and mineral components were measured. Proximate analysis showed a decreased trend of: Calorific value(CV) ≥ Carbohydrate(CHO) ≥ Moisture ≥ Dry matter(DM) ≥ Ash(A) ≥Ether (FAT) ≥ Crude fibre(CF) ≥ Crude protein(CP). Mineral contents decreased in the order: Ca ≥ Mg ≥ Na ≥ K ≥ N ≥ P ≥ Mn ≥ Cu ≥ Zn. The vitamins also decreased in the order: Vitamin C ≥ β– Carotene ≥ Niacin ≥ Thiamin≥ Riboflavin. The mean values of Mercury (0.013mg/kg) and Cadmium (0.426mg/kg) were well above the FAO/WHO standards (0.01/0.02mg/kg). Hazard Quotient (HQ) of toxic elements were >1, and Hazard Index (HI) found to be >1, indicating potential human health risk. Recommendations were made.
... Various artificial methods of fruit ripening have been observed mostly to meet consumers' demand and other economic factors. Different fruit postharvest practices such as hot water treatment, cold treatments, ethaphon, calcium chloride (Mahmood et al., 2013;Rahman et al., 2016;Gandhi et al., 2016) ethylene, and methyl jasmonate can be used. Ethylene, and methyl jasmonate are non-toxic ripening agents but relatively expensive. ...
Article
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Calcium carbide (CaC2)is still commonly used as artificial fruit ripening agent for mangoes in many developing countries like Pakistan despite of the major concern of arsenic (As) and other metals contaminations. We used Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) for the detection of arsenic traces in commercially availableCaC2andartificially ripened mangoes (ARM). Presence of harmful arsenic residues in calcium carbide (CaC2) treated fruits provided evidences that arsenic traces were transferred from calcium carbide (CaC2) which is used for ripening. Mature green mangoes were treated with CaC2in three different ways (T1-T3) and were compared to fully ripened mangoes bought from local markets (T4) and non-treated mangoes (T0). Pulverized mango samples were irradiated by 3MeV collimated protons from 5MV tandem accelerator at National Institute of Physics, Pakistan and emitted X-ray spectrum was analyzed using GUPIXWIN to detect significant amount of As traces with differential presence of several other elements. Arsenic presence was further validated and endorsed in mango fruits using Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (GFAAS) and Inductivity Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). Absence of As traces in non-treated control mangoes has provided evidence of As contamination in artificially ripened mangoes is associated with CaC2 used for ripening. Arsenic residues in CaC2 treated mangoes can easily added up to already available arsenic exposure towards the limits shown for several cancerous diseases. Present study will not only provide a direct method of arsenic detection in fruits, but also suggest the need of strict implementations and improvements in the existing food safety rules and regulations to completely ban this carcinogenic chemical for its future applications.
... Treatment with CaC2 increased the rate at which ripening takes place in fruit as depicted by increase in the rate at which they soften, respire and change in flavor and colour. It is the commonly used chemical for ripening of fruits, due to its low price and availability in most local markets [5]. However, the industrial grade CaC2 often used by fruits handlers contains traces of impurities in form of calcium arsenide (Ca3As2) and Calcium phosphide (Ca3P2). ...
Article
Full-text available
This research work examined the use of calcium carbide as ripening agent for banana and plantain in major markets within Ilorin metropolis. Open ended/structured questionnaires were administered to banana/plantain handlers in six different markets, afterward samples of ripe banana and plantain were also collected from different points in each market at the same time for physicochemical and mineral analyses. Results showed that a total of 85 respondents returned their questionnaires from all the markets; of which majority were female (99 percent), 89 percent of them were married, only 35 percent had formal education, 94 percent of them do store their plantain/banana, 83 percent were aware of the use of calcium carbide in ripening of plantain/banana but only 1 percent admitted using it. Comparing with the control samples, the physicochemical and mineral analyses showed that there were reduced moisture and vitamin C contents with increased values of arsenic and phosphorus being recovered from banana and plantain samples. Many authors had associated induced ripening with the use of ripening agent such as calcium carbide with reduced moisture and vitamin C contents with elevated values of arsenic and phosphorus in ripe fruits which had many health risks. Samples of banana and plantain collected from Ilorin markets were probably forced ripen with artificial ripening agents. The needs for constant education of the public especially fruits handlers on the health implications of the use of calcium carbide as ripening agent cannot be overemphasized.
... In artificial ripening samples, 3 g and 1 g of calcium carbide per kg of fruit samples have skin firmness values (42,48 ± 8,63 N and 39,20 ± 11,56 N respectively) whereas the highest flesh firmness values were been registered in 3 g of CaC 2 per kg of fruit and 3 g of CaC (13,48 ± 2,21 N and 15,43 ± 4,23 N respectively) after ripening. The strong firmness loss noted in treated fruits can be due to calcium carbide that hastens polygalacturonase enzyme activity These results agree with those reported by Gandhi et al. [15]. greatest b* (blue/yellow axe) values were found in naturally ripened mango and treated to 3 g/kg of fruit and lowest in 3 g/L distilled water. ...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: this study aims to find out appropriate method of application and the optimum dose of calcium carbide required to initiate ripening of mango var. “Kent”. Study Design: The experimental set-up was of a completely randomized design. Place and Duration of Study: This study was performed in the Department of Genetic and Biochemistry, at the Laboratory of Food Biochemistry of University Peleforo Gon Coulibaly, Korhogo, Côte d’Ivoire, May 1, 2020. Methodology: Seventy uniform, mature green and healthy mangoes were bought from a local company and divided into five groups. The groups were divided into different calcium carbide levels as follows: 0 (control), 1 g/kg and 3 g/kg, CaC2 per fruit; 1 g/L and 3 g/L, CaC2 in distilled water to induce ripening at room temperature. The physicochemical analysis was carried out on both the unripe and ripened fruits. Results: The results obtained revealed that calcium carbide reduce significantly fruit ripening time from 6 days (naturally ripened fruit) to 3 days (3 g/kg) and 4 days (1 g/kg). The present study showed also that calcium carbide by spraying is not effective on mango ripening time. The physicochemical analysis indicated that CaC2 may induce negative changes on some quality parameters like firmness, pH, acidity, total soluble solids (3 g/kg, CaC2 per fruit) and vitamin C. However, the fruits subjected to 1 and 3 g/kg, exhibited an increase of skin brightness and yellowness whereas 1 g/kg increase slightly in TSS when compared to the control. Moreover, the study established that the ripening time and changes in quality parameters are dose and method dependent. Conclusion: The present investigation showed that the artificial ripening using calcium carbide could not keep quality physicochemical characteristics intact.
... Climacteric fruits are characterized by transient increase in both ethylene synthesis and respiration at an early stage of ripening. They include avocado, banana, cherimoya, mango, kiwifruits, apple, apricot, cucurbit, jackfruit, papaya, peach, pear, plum and tomato [3]. Non-climacteric fruit on the other hand does not show any increase in respiration and ethylene synthesis during ripening. ...
Article
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The use of ripening agents has been on the increase today as they provide fruits the desired colour and taste within a short time. However, these ripening agents may pose health threats to humans. In this study, the effect of accelerated ripening agents on the fruit quality of pawpaw was investigated. Fresh unripe pawpaw fruits were placed in different containers and were fully ripened with kerosene fume and calcium carbide after 48 hrs. Pawpaw sample ripened naturally was used as control sample. Unripe, naturally and accelerated ripened pawpaw fruits were analyzed for physicochemical properties and sulphide and sulphate distributions using standard methods. The result revealed a decrease in total titratable acidity (TTA), pH and carbohydrate contents on ripening while sugar content increased significantly (p<0.05). Calcium carbide ripened sample had significantly (p<0.05) higher TTA than kerosene fumed and naturally ripened samples. pH and total available carbohydrate of pawpaw ripened naturally and with accelerated ripening agents were significantly (p<0.05) similar. Accelerated ripening with calcium carbide and kerosene fume also resulted to a significant (p<0.05) increase in moisture content while vitamin C content decreased, but significantly (p<0.05) similar. Results of sulphate and sulphide distribution of the pawpaw fruits revealed that the carbide sample contained significantly (p<0.05) high amount of sulphate and sulphide than kerosene fume ripened and unripe pawpaw samples. The use of calcium carbide for ripening of pawpaw is therefore not advisable. The findings of this study will be useful for consumers and food safety authorities in addressing the changes in health risks and nutritional changes associated with accelerated ripening of pawpaw fruit.
... However, for the fact that the banana fruit skin has an extraordinary capacity for moisture retention of these disintegrated impurities during the release of acetylene gas from Calcium Carbide, arsenic impurities were imbibed by both banana species. Calcium carbide ripened fruits are soft, have a decent peel color development but with lesser flavor (Surbhi et al., 2016). Moreover, these heavy metals are non-biodegradable and have long natural half-lives just as the capacity for aggregation in various organs of the body prompting undesirable issues (Ogunkunle et al., 2014). ...
Article
Many fruit vendors in Nigeria adopt unhealthy practices to induce fruit ripening and increase the availability of ripe fruits in the markets. We investigated the safety of traditional induced ripening techniques on two banana species (Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana). Unripe mature banana fruits were harvested and subjected to five different local ripening procedures-exposure to sunlight, hot water priming, enclosure in sack bags and nylon bags as well as exposure to calcium carbide (CaC 2) in an enclosed container. The study included a control group, which was not exposed to any of the traditional ripening methods. Results showed that banana fruits primed in hot water turned dark throughout the period under review. Although it took control fruits six days to ripen, the fruits exposed to different weights of CaC 2 ripened fastest (within 48-hours) irrespective of the mode of application, whether as dried CaC 2 or in solution. Increased sugar accumulation was recorded in the CaC 2-ripened fruits, with evidence of arsenic (0.026-0.164 mg/kg) in the endocarp. Arsenic is an impurity in CaC 2 and also known to be a harmful heavy metal. Post-harvest spoilage of both Musa species began on the fourth day after exposure to CaC 2, whereas spoilage was not reported within nine days for fruits exposed to other ripening procedures. With the accumulation of arsenic and the early post-harvest spoilage of banana fruits due to CaC 2 exposure, the local use of CaC 2 for fruit ripening should be discouraged. We recommend the use of nylon and sack bags as well as exposure to sunlight because of longer shelf life and minimal effects on fruit quality.
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Studies were carried out to evaluate the proximate, phytochemical and heavy metal levels of selected ripened fruits ( paw-paw, banana and plantain) sold in market outlets within Enugu metropolis , using standard analytical procedures and instrumentation. The parameters were evaluated in both the processed and control samples and were subjected to one way analysis of variance at 5% confidence level. The purchased ripened banana , paw-paw and plantain samples had 69.19± 3.96, 87.54± 4.20 and 79.54±1.72% respectively as moisture content compared to 58.71± 2.14, 74.66±3.01 and 70.71±3.01 % respectively obtained as moisture content in the control banana , paw-paw and plantain samples. The mean ash , protein , carbohydrate and vitamin C contents of the purchased banana , paw-paw and plantain samples were 1.71±0.21 , 6.90±1.01 , 8.84±2.11% ; 0.86±0.22 , 0.67±0.18 , 5.89±0.17% ; 2.34±0.54 , 47.24 ±1.89, 40.81± 2.24 % and 11.11± 2.15 , 31.12±0.34 , 31.79±2.30 % , compared to 3.16±0.16 , 7.61±0.46, 11.16±0.35% ; 1.24±0.39, 0.75±0.14 , 6.82±0.33 % ;4.76±0.20 , 50.66±3.41, 45.52±.46 % ; 16.02±1.49, 37.22±0.91, 25.21±2.71% gotten as mean ash, protein , carbohydrate and vitamin C contents in the control banana , paw-paw and plantain samples respectively. The mean moisture content was statistically higher in the investigated purchased samples than it was in the control samples. However, the mean ash, protein , carbohydrate and vitamin C contents of the control samples were higher than they were in the purchased samples. The mean flavonoids content in the control banana , paw-paw and plantain samples were 0.57±0.08 , 0.87±0.26 and 0.43±0.06 mg/g respectively, but was 0.39±0.06 , 0.66±0.10 and 0.38±0.02mg/g respectively in the purchased ripened banana , paw-paw and plantain samples. The mean alkaloids content in the control banana , paw-paw and plantain samples were 0.29±0.05 , 0.93±0.09 and 0,32±0.05 mg/g respectively , but was 0.18±0.04, 0.85±0.06 and 0.20±0.04 mg/g respectively in the purchased banana , paw-paw and plantain samples. Lead was not detected in the control banana samples but was 0.02±0.01 and 0.12±0.05µg/g respectively in the control paw-paw and plantain samples. The mean Pb values in the purchased banana , paw-paw and plantain samples were 0.05±0.02 , 0.10±0.04 and 0.33±0.08 µg/g respectively. Cadmium was not detected in the investigated control samples but had mean values of 0.07±0.02, and 0.15±0,03µg/g respectively in the purchased paw-paw and plantain samples. Although ripening agents generally accelerates the ripening of fruits to reduce economic loss due to possible decay, however, it could at the same time reduce the nutritive and phytochemical contents of the ripened fruits as was the suggested case with the investigated samples purchased from the market.The contaminant ( heavy metal ) levels of the purchased samples were equally found to be higher in the purchased samples than they were in the control samples.
Article
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Fruit ripening is a natural process which also can be stimulated using different artificial fruit ripening agents. In the recent years, the effect of artificial ripening has become questionable because of various health related issues. There are direct and indirect health hazards associated with artificial ripening agents and their impurities, which require qualitative and quantitative analysis of chemical toxicity and their impact on fruit quality. To understand the possible health hazards, it is important to analyze chemicals present within artificially-ripened fruits, and to analyze any change in food value. This article sheds light on the usages of different chemical compounds as artificial fruit ripening agents, their mechanisms, their effects on fruit quality, and possible health impacts. The existing laws and legislations practiced in different countries are also reported here. The paper gives an overview of different aspects of artificial ripening, and the key factors which should be borne in mind while choosing right fruits. The key objective of the paper is to address the problems associated with artificial ripening and bring them to the notice of the scientific and non-scientific communities.
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Ripening is a process in fruits that causes them to become more edible. In general, a fruit becomes sweeter, less green, and softer as it ripens. However the acidity as well as sweetness rises during ripening, but the fruit still tastes sweeter regardless. An organic compound involved with ripening is ethylene, a gas created by plants from the amino acid methionine. Ethylene increases the intracellular levels of certain enzymes in fruit and fresh-cut products, which include: Abstract: In recent times there is much concern about artificial ripening of fruits in many parts of the world including Bangladesh. Large amount of tropical fruits are produced in Bangladesh. Though fruits like mango naturally ripen in trees; some chemicals are used to ripen them artificially which hasten the ripening process. Ripe fruits are not suitable to carry & distribute as they get rotten. So fruit traders pick unripe fruits & use certain methods to increase the shelf life of them. For many years Ethylene had been used as a fruit ripening agent. But now- a-days Calcium carbide is getting popular in this regard as it has a faster ripening property. But inappropriate use of Carbide to ripen fruits is associated with many health hazards. In this topic we have tried to reveal the essentials of this burning issue & looked for solutions.
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Considerable progress in tomato molecular biology has been made over the past five years. At least 19 different mRNAs which increase in amount during tomato fruit ripening have been cloned and genes for enzymes involved in cell wall degradation (polygalacturonase and pectinesterase) and ethylene synthesis (ACC synthase) have been identified by conventional procedures. Transgenic plants have been used to identify regions of DNA flanking fruit-specific, ripening-related and ethylene-regulated genes and trans-acting factors which bind to these promoters have also been identified. Antisense genes expressed in transgenic plants have proved to be highly effective for inhibiting the specific expression of ripening-related genes. These experiments have changed our understanding of how softening occurs in tomato fruit. Antisense techniques have also been used to identify genes encoding enzymes for carotenoid biosynthesis (phytoene synthase) and ethylene biosynthesis (the ethylene-forming enzyme). The altered characteristics of fruit transformed with specific antisense genes, such as retarded ripening and resistance to splitting, may prove to be of value to fruit growers, processors and ultimately the consumer.
Article
This review paper discusses the impact of chemicals used in fruits as ripening agent on fruit quality and consumers' health. Chemicals and plants hormones are also being used in harvested fruits at the time of marketing in Bangladesh. Chemicals like acetylene, ethylene etc. are used for ripening immature fruits and thus promote their cosmetic quality. Sometimes fruit sellers ripen immature fruits artificially to meet the high demand and make high profit. During transportation, the naturally ripened fruits may become over ripen and inedible. Many fruit wholesalers make fruits ripen with calcium carbide and also treat those with formalin to protect against microbial attack and thus minimize financial loss. The fruits ripened with calcium carbide may develop uniform attractive surface color, but poor in flavor and the inside may remain unripe. Use of chemicals accelerates ripening, but affects the nutritional quality of fruits. Most of these chemicals are harmful for human health. It is necessary to build awareness among fruit producers, traders and consumers.
Article
The biochemical and molecular basis of chlorophyll (Chl) catabolism in bananas was investigated during ripening at 20°C and at an elevated temperature (35°C) where degreening is inhibited. Biochemical analysis showed that Chl breakdown products could be isolated from fruit ripened at both temperatures. The coloured breakdown products, chlorophyllide and pheophorbide, were not detected at any stage of ripening in the two treatments; however, a non-fluorescent Chl catabolite accumulated to a higher concentration at 20 than at 35°C. To investigate the ripening-related gene expression associated with these changes, a cDNA library was generated from the peel of fruit ripened at 20°C. Differential screening of this library produced 20 non-redundant families of clones including those encoding enzymes involved in ethylene biosynthesis, respiration, starch metabolism, cell wall degradation and other metabolic events. The expression of these genes was followed by northern analysis in fruit ripened at 20 and 35°C.
Article
During banana (Musa acuminata L.) fruit ripening ethylene production triggers a developmental cascade that is accompanied by a massive conversion of starch to sugars, an associated burst of respiratory activity, and an increase in protein synthesis. Differential screening of cDNA libraries representing banana pulp at ripening stages 1 and 3 has led to the isolation of 11 nonredundant groups of differentially expressed mRNAs. Identification of these transcripts by partial sequence analysis indicates that two of the mRNAs encode proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism, whereas others encode proteins thought to be associated with pathogenesis, senescence, or stress responses in plants. Their relative abundance in the pulp and tissue-specific distribution in greenhouse-grown banana plants were determined by northern-blot analyses. The relative abundance of transcripts encoding starch synthase, granule-bound starch synthase, chitinase, lectin, and a type-2 metallothionein decreased in pulp during ripening. Transcripts encoding endochitinase, beta-1,3-glucanase, a thaumatin-like protein, ascorbate peroxidase, metallothionein, and a putative senescence-related protein increased early in ripening. The elucidation of the molecular events associated with banana ripening will facilitate a better understanding and control of these processes, and will allow us to attain our long-term goal of producing candidate oral vaccines in transgenic banana plants.
Article
Thirty cDNA clones of genes corresponding to mRNAs up‐regulated during fruit ripening of Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai cv. Kikusui) were obtained by differential screening of a ripe fruit cDNA library. All of these cDNAs were sequenced and gathered into 11 non‐redundant groups after database searches. These clones represented genes associated with stress responses, protein catabolism or pathogenesis. The accumulation of transcripts of 3 out of 11 genes was inhibited by 1‐methylcyclopropene (MCP), an inhibitor of ethylene action.
Article
Two distinct cDNA clones showing sequence homology to higher-plant pectate lyase (Pel) genes were isolated from ripening banana fruits. The transcripts were detected only in fruit tissue and both were strongly ripening-related. Yeast transformation with the most highly expressed Pel clone produced a recombinant protein with pectate lyase activity, demonstrating that this sequence was likely to encode a pectate lyase protein in planta. An assay developed for measuring the action of the endogenous enzyme from banana pulp tissue revealed a significant increase in calcium-dependent pectate lyase activity during ripening. The enhanced levels of enzyme activity corresponded with an increase in soluble polyuronides from banana pulp.
Indiscriminate use of chemical in fruits and their health effects
  • M A Rahim
Rahim, M.A. (2012) Indiscriminate use of chemical in fruits and their health effects. In proceedings of First AFSSA Conference on Food Safety and Food Security held at Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka, Japan.
11. seyin Per, elim urto lu, Fatih a mur, akan m s , efer umandas and akanPoyrazo lu
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