How to identify artificially ripened mangoes?

Recently there was news that this season’s mangoes might cause cancer. The news was based on the fact that mangoes were being artificially ripened using a chemical called calcium carbide that is a known carcinogen (cancer causing substance).

Why do mangoes need to be artificially ripened?

All fruits ripen based on a well tuned chemical system. The main chemical in ripening being ethylene. But farmers and fruit vendors, normally have to transport and store these fruits for a period of time before they get sold. So, to help keep these fruits ripe enough to sell and not allow them to rot, farmers pluck them when they are still raw.

In some cases these mangoes need to be ripened so that there is more to sell. And since we buy based on how attractive a fruit looks, they resort to artificial ripening methods.

How can one distinguish between artificially ripened mangoes and organically grown ones?

‘Taste is the easiest way. Once you have eaten organic mangoes you won’t feel like eating non organic ones.’ Other distinguishing factors are:

Colour: In an artificially ripened mangoe there will be patches of green. These patches will be clearly distinguishable from the yellow and unlike a naturally ripened mango it will not have a uniform blend of yellow and green. Another sign is that the mango will have an unnaturally bright yellow colour when compared to a naturally ripened mango.

Taste: ‘When you eat the mango you will feel a slight burning in the mouth.’ Some people may even experience severe reactions like a stomach ache, diarrhoea and burning down the throat.

Texture and colour of the pulp: When you cut open a naturally ripened mango the pulp will a bright reddish-yellow, which is uniform. In the case of an artificially ripened mango it will be a light and dark yellow, indicating that it is not fully ripe. The comparison lies in the fact that the mango will look completely ripe from the outside but it will not be so on the inside.

Juice: Another indicator is that when you cut a naturally ripened mango, you will find that it will be sweet and have a lot of juice. In the case of artificially ripened mangoes, there will be little or no juice. This is because the ethyl that naturally ripens a mango produces juice, which cannot be formed when the mango is artificially ripened.

What are the ill-effects of artificially ripened mangoes?

‘Chemicals and pesticides cause a variety of diseases, some of the ill effects, they are known hormone disruptors leading to an increase in the number of hormonal diseases today like hypothyroid, polycstic ovaries, diabetes etc. Apart from that, they have been known to lead to Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and worst of all are passed on from mother to child via breast milk. more  

View all 6 comments Below 6 comments
Nidhi.
The best you can do is to clean the Mangoes well in Filtered Water. Leave it in Filtered Water for 15 Mins. When eating, remove the top skin of the Mangoe with knife, and eat only the Pulp. Dont put the skin of the Mangoe in the mouth while eating.
Regards. more  
There are so many different types of mangos, that some if the suggestions in this article won't work at all. For example, juicy versus non juicy or reddish yellow versus light yellow!! Maybe the green not merged patches and then burning sensation on eating are the only ways. more  
यूरोप में भारत के अलफांसो आमों पर रोक (कीटनाशक पदार्थों से दूषित पाया गया था.)
सोमवार, 28 अप्रैल, 2014 को 20:18 IST तक के समाचार more  
How can one distinguish between artificially ripened mangoes and organically grown ones?
According to Nandita Shah, founder of SHARAN India (an organisation committed to prevention and reversal of diseases through nutrition), ‘Organic mangoes are sold in organic shops or through people who specify that there mangoes are organic. But even so there is a need to be able to tell the difference between an artificially ripened mango and natural one.’ She says, ‘Taste is the easiest way. Once you have eaten organic mangoes you won’t feel like eating non organic ones.’ Other distinguishing factors are:
Colour: In an artificially ripened mangoe there will be patches of green. These patches will be clearly distinguishable from the yellow and unlike a naturally ripened mango it will not have a uniform blend of yellow and green. Another sign is that the mango will have an unnaturally bright yellow colour when compared to a naturally ripened mango.
Taste: According to Dr Nandita Shah, ‘When you eat an artificially ripened mango you will feel a slight burning in the mouth.’ Some people may even experience severe reactions like a stomach ache, diarrhoea and burning down the throat.
Texture and colour of the pulp: When you cut open a naturallu ripened mango the pulp will a bright reddish-yellow, which is uniform. In the case of an artificially ripened mango it will be a light and dark yellow, indicating that it is not fully ripe. The comparison lies in the fact that the mango will look completely ripe from the outside but it will not be so on the inside.
Juice: Another indicator is that when you cut a naturally ripened mango, you will find that it will be sweet and have a lot of juice. In the case of artificially ripened mangoes, there will be little or no juice. This is because the ethyl that naturally ripens a mango produces juice, which cannot be formed when the mango is artificially ripened.
Finally, Dr Nandita Shah says, ‘Organic mangoes have a short season when typically the vendor will have a lot of mangoes. The season is not extended because no chemicals are used.’
What are the ill-effects of artificially ripened mangoes?
Dr Shah says, ‘Chemicals and pesticides cause a variety of diseases, some of the ill effects, they are known hormone disruptors leading to an increase in the number of hormonal diseases today like hypothyroid, polycstic ovaries, diabetes etc. Apart from that, they have been known to lead to Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and worst of all are passed on from mother to child via breast milk.
Is it possible to get rid of the chemicals by washing them properly or eating them without the outer skin?
‘Perhaps a small part but not a large enough amount of it. Wash the fruits well but you will still feel the burning sensation and carry all the ill effects,’ says Dr Shah. more  
In this morning's TOI there's a news item on the European Community (EC) having banned import of "Indian" mangoes, including the famous and favourite "Alphonso" mangoes, because in several consignments of 2013 a lot of pesticide was detected on the mangoes.

Only professionals would be able to tell whether pesticides have anything or nothing to do with "artificial ripening" of the fruit....... more  
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