Thanjavur: Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department (Food Safety Wing) officials seized five tonnes of artificially ripened mangoes from a warehouse in Kamaraj Market, here today.
Acting on a tip-off, the food safety officials raided the warehouse and seized the mangoes along with several kilograms of calcium carbide stones used to ripen them prematurely.
The seized mangoes were of most sought-after varieties like Banganapalli, Malgova, Alphonso etc meant for supply to retailers.
The seized fruits would be destroyed in the dump yard, officials said. A case has been registered under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act against the owner of the warehouse, identified as Sathyaseelan.
Calcium carbide, widely used by fruit merchants, was banned under Section 44A of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
The chemical in solid form is kept wrapped in paper among the fruits, which catalyses the ripening process.
According to medical experts, artificially ripened fruits could pose serious health hazards such as damage to the kidney, liver and cause ulcers and gastric problems.