Greedy traders in Kenya have flooded the market with artificially ripened mangoes, bananas, apples and pawpaws.
Chances are high that the fruits you have been consuming were ripened with calcium carbide also known as masala.
Artificially ripened mangoes can give you life-threatening diseases such as stroke, cancer, heart disease and cancer. Scientists also link calcium carbide to diarrhea, gastric problems, skin rash and miscarriage.
How to spot artificially ripened fruits
Artificially ripened fruits do not have the natural scent since the process has been hastened.
The fruit sugar in such fruits is still immature and so their taste is also different; they do not have their natural sweetness and juice.
Traders ripen fruits artificially by placing them next to a bag of the chemical (masala) for about a day or two. The result is that the skin of the fruit will turn yellow. All fruits ripened this way have a uniform bright yellow colour and some patches of green (that looks raw). The inside part might be unripe or contain a mixture of bright and light yellow.
It is advisable to wash fruits thoroughly before consuming them. Leave them under a tap of running water for a couple of minutes. Peel off the skin and cut it into small pieces. This way, you reduce the risk associated with the consumption of calcium carbide.