Are you worried that you are consuming fruits which are artificially ripened? Then a team of researchers from food science and technology department of Pondicherry University has found a simple method to detect this.
The Times of India reports that they have developed a sensor solution with bio-functionalised gold nanoparticles. Reportedly, when the solution is mixed with water and when the fruits are washed in the solution, it will change colour if the fruits are ripened using calcium carbide.
The team led by Prathap Kumar Shetty includes PhD student Ankita J Lakade and postdoctoral scientist K Sundar. They have also filed for a patent at the regional patent office, Chennai.
Prathap Kumar Shetty told ToI that this procedure does not require technical expertise and the only thing a person needs to do is to wash the fruit in about 10ml of water and 1ml of the wash with an equal amount of the solution. If it changes colour, the fruit has been artificially ripened.
Moreover, reputed laboratories have started validating the sensor solution. He added that the solution will be released after validation.
It is a timely invention as the consumers are worried about artificial ripening of fruits and regulations could not be enforced due to lack of a simple method to test for artificial ripening, he told ToI.
He said that the cost of an analysis is less than 20 paise and if it is synthesised on a commercial scale, the cost will be much lesser.
On April 15, 2017, Hyderabad police had taken four people into custody for selling artificially ripened fruits and for using calcium carbide, China chemical powder and other chemicals.
Two teams comprising of Commissionerâ€™s Task Force and South Zone police in Hyderabad conducted simultaneous raids at various places of Moghalpura, Bhavaninagar, Falaknuma and Hussainialam area.
â€śWe got information from reliable source about such cases. This is the first case in 2017. Last year there were several cases registered in various parts of the city,â€ť Inspector Madhu Mohan Reddy had told The News Minute.