Artificial vs natural ripening

Mangoes are delicious fruits that are loved by many people around the world. Sadly, artificial ripening of mangoes is a common practice in many parts of the world. This process involves the use of chemicals to speed up the ripening process of mangoes, allowing them to be sold at a faster rate. While this method may seem convenient for farmers and retailers, it can have negative consequences for consumers and the environment.

The most common chemical used in artificial ripening is calcium carbide, which is a highly reactive substance that produces acetylene gas when it comes into contact with water. This gas accelerates the ripening process of mangoes by breaking down the starches and converting them into sugars. However, the use of calcium carbide can have health consequences.

The acetylene gas produced by calcium carbide is highly toxic and can cause respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness and vomiting. In addition, the residue left on the mangoes after ripening can be harmful if consumed in large quantities.

Furthermore, the use of calcium carbide for artificial ripening can have a negative impact on the environment When calcium carbide is mixed with water, it produces a chemical called calcium hydroxide, which is highly alkaline and can lead to soil and water pollution. The use of this chemical can also affect the quality of soil and reduce the fertility of the land.   

To avoid consuming artificially ripened mangoes, consumers should look for signs of ripening that are natural, such as presence of black spots or wrinkles on the skin, or a sweet aroma.

Here are some tips for natural ripening of mangoes:

  1. Store the mangoes properly: Mangoes should be stored at room temperature until they are ripe. Keep them away from direct sunlight as this can cause them to ripen unevenly.
  2. Check for ripeness: Check the mangoes regularly for ripeness by gently pressing them. Ripe mangoes will give slightly under pressure. You can also smell the mangoes to check if they are ripe. They should have a sweet aroma when ripe.
  3. Speed up the ripening process: If you need to ripen mangoes faster, you can place them in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple. These fruits release ethylene gas which can speed up the ripening process.

Natural ripening of mangoes is a healthier and safer option compared to artificial ripening methods. By following these tips, you can enjoy the delicious taste of ripe mangoes without any harmful chemicals.