Mango traders in the city, who are suspected of using the hazardous Calcium Carbide to artificially ripen the fruit, joined mango farmers in learning safe and legalfruit ripening methods at a workshop organised by the Horticulture Department here on Saturday.
Though the workshop, taken by the faculty of College of Horticulture, was organised for the benefit of mango farmers ahead of the three-day Mango Mela, scheduled to begin at Curzon Park on May 27, traders too joined in.
Dakshayini Badiger, food safety officer, Mysuru, said the traders who operate on Akbar Road in the city had approached officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) seeking their guidance on using alternative ripening methods. Last year, action was taken against a few of them for allegedly using Calcium Carbide.
Along with the farmers, the traders were trained in using ethylene gas spray, a legally permitted ripening agent, Ms. Badiger said. The participants of the workshop were taught how to maintain ideal temperature and ventilation in the room or godown used while administering the ethylene gas spray.
There was also a presentation on achieving the desired ripening by freezing mangoes. Meanwhile, many mango merchants on Akbar Road on Sunday were found using ethylene spray.
At the Mango Mela, 30 will be put up at Curzon Park, and the king of fruits will be sold at reasonable rates. Varieties such as Alphonso, Badami, Raspuri, Mallika and Malgova, besides pickles of many kinds, will be available, said Horticulture Department officials.