Dangerous Calcium Carbide

Don’t use Calcium Carbide to ripen fruit!

Calcium-Carbide drumSeveral countries use Calcium Carbide as an artificial ripening agent.  Also known as “masala,” this is a dangerous and deadly process; when wet, the Calcium Carbide reacts with the water and produces acetylene gas, which mimics ethylene action and is used as an artificial ripening agent.  However, acetylene is not nearly as effective as ethylene (much more must be used for it to be effective) and acetylene is not a natural plant hormone like ethylene.  Also, this Calcium Carbide process will likely give off traces of arsenic and phosphorus, both highly toxic to humans.  Furthermore, since so much acetylene is needed to mimic the ethylene action, this just intensifies the amount of toxic chemicals that are also introduced to the fruit.  Consumption of fruits ripened with Calcium Carbide can cause severe health problems; therefore, the use of this Calcium Carbide for ripening is illegal in most countries.  Use only ethylene, the natural plant hormone & ripening agent!

Here are some reference articles on the dangers and illegality of using Calcium Carbide for ripening:
4 Food Safety and Standards Prohibition and Restriction on Sales Regulation 2011 and FAQ
Use of Banned Chemicals for Ripening Fruits
Consumers, beware of artificially ripened mangoes – The Hindu