Chemicals in fruits and vegetables, take precaution

Summer is the season of fruits and the markets are loaded with delicious juicy varieties of fruits. However, many fear consuming fruits and that is laced with formalin or formaldehyde.

In fact, many have stopped eating fruits altogether for the fear of formalin. They are not feeding fruits to their children either.

Actually, there’s no need to preserve fruits or vegetables with formalin. Formalin is used for preserving protein items only. So, you can consume all types of fruits and vegetables without any worries.

If you still doubt there’s formalin in the fruits and vegetables, even then you can eat them. Just wash the fruits and veggies properly before consuming. Formaldehyde is soluble in water so, it just vanishes from a good wash.

Meanwhile, the components like carbide that are used for ripening the fruits are harmful if eaten directly. Carbide by exhuming acetylene gas creates a warm environment so that it creates ethylene inside the fruits and then ripens them.

This carbide doesn’t come in contact with the fruits. However, if can cause a health risk if it does come in contact of the fruits. To ripen the fruits ethophen is safer compared to carbide. Even if carbide or ethophen are used for ripening fruits, their dosages have to be kept under a limit.

How nutritious the artificially ripened fruits will be, depends on the growth of the fruits. If you ripen fully grown fruits in an artificial way, it will be nearly as nutritious as the naturally-ripened fruits. But, if the fruits are unripe to begin with, the nutritional qualities will obviously decline.

Sometimes we see that the vendors display vegetables at their shops after dipping them into coloured water. That is not formalin rather dyes. This is not used to preserve the veggies but to make them more vivid. Many use cheaper dyes which of course creates health risks. So, you must abstain from consuming these vegetables mixed with colours.


  • Don’t consume unripe fruits that are ripened artificially.

  • Wash fruits like mangoes, bananas and papayas carefully before consuming. Remove the peels and they will be safe to eat.

  • Do not consume two or three varieties of fruits at the same time. This poses a risk of acidity.

  • Do not consume fruits with the main course rather consume them as snacks.

  • Patients with kidney diseases and diabetes should consult physicians or nutritionists about consuming fruits.

  • Never consume blended fruits. Blending fruits ruins the nutritional qualities in them.

*Md Iqbal Hossain, senior nutrition officer at Chattogram Diabetes General Hospital

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