Producers continue to use calcium carbide to ripen fruit in Pakistan

KARACHI: Summer is upon us bringing with it the king of all fruits, the world famous Pakistani mango season is almost here. Before you run to buy your share of the sweet yellow goodness you might want to know how the fruit is being artificially ripened and could be hazardous to your health.


While the use of Calcium Carbide (CaC2) has been banned in most countries including neighbouring India, in Pakistan producers continue to use the hazardous substance to artificially ripen fruit – including mangoes.

Farmers have been using the hazardous substance to artificially ripen mangoes instead of waiting for the fruit to ripen naturally. Traces of dangerous chemicals including Phosphorus and Arsenic have also been found in Calcium Carbide.

While its use remains banned in most countries, there is no prohibition for using Calcium Carbide to artificially ripen fruit in Pakistan.

According to experts, consuming fruit ripened using Calcium Carbide can cause skin related problems and consuming even a nominal amount of the substance can lead to Cancer and other diseases.