State

Harmful foods under scanner

Staff Reporter Dimapur, Jul 22 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/23/2018 12:15:48 AM IST
Following the ban on all varieties of imported fishes by Food Safety Officials, the net has widened to include varieties of fruits such as -mangoes, bananas , pomegranates, watermelons-which were also found with traces of carbide, for artificial ripening.  All fruits were banned for sale until tests are done to rule out traces of various banned chemicals used for artificial ripening or making them look fresher. 
On Saturday, Food Safety officials, after conducting tests, ordered disposal of around 5000 kgs of various fruits at DMC dumping site. The Food Safety officials also ordered the closure of M/s Modern Ice Cream Factory and Plaza Bakery for unhygienic conditions.  The scanner for the Food Safety officials will also have to get widened to bring even ‘green’ imported vegetables under focus. It may be pointed out that Sikkim is the only state declared as the ‘Organic State’ in India. Sikkim bans import of vegetables of all kinds into the state. The ‘deep green’ look on many imported vegetables is a clear sign of chemicals being used to make them look fresh despite having to be transported over ten to twenty days to reach Nagaland.
First, silicone spray is used on vegetables to slow down the ripening process then they are put in a dump where the desired color is mixed before they are packed and sent.
Artificial color on green vegetables also make ridge gourd, lady fingers, pointed gourds, beans appear fresh. The harmful dye is actually used in textile industries.  The huge and oversize ‘bilaty’ vegetables in markets are actually due to growth hormones injected to speed up the growth. Vegetable farmers would use a syringe and inject those hormones into individual veggies. 
Fruits that have a uniform colour are more likely to have been artificially ripened. The naturally ripened fruits are not uniformly coloured; rather, they are patchy. When tomatoes are uniformly red, or mango and papaya are uniformly orange/yellow, then Calcium Carbide may have been used. Bananas can also be identified if the fruits are all yellow green whereas the stem is dark. It is not advisable to buy fruits when they arrive in the market before the due period i.e. early and off-season.
The Food safety officials also need to check kitchens of restaurants and eating places not only for hygiene but also whether recycled oil used since it is very harmful for health.

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