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Table 1 List of commonly used chemicals for fruit ripening and their effects on human health [1, 57, 32]

From: A review on the legislative aspect of artificial fruit ripening

Name and chemical structure Possible health effect
Calcium carbide (CaC2) Direct consumption of acetylene gas released by calcium carbide can reduce oxygen supply to the brain and can cause prolonged hypoxia
Calcium carbide in general is alkaline in nature and can cause irritation in the mucosal tissue in the abdominal region
Arsenic and phosphorous found in industrial grade calcium carbide can cause dizziness, frequent thirst, irritation in mouth and nose, weakness, permanent skin damage difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, skin ulcer, etc
Ethylene glycol (C2H5O2) Direct consumption of ethylene glycol may cause kidney failure
Ethylene (C2H4) and methyl jasmonate (C13H20O3) Comparing to calcium carbide and ethylene glycol, ethylene and methyl jasmonate are less (or non-) toxic for human consumption; however, they are relatively expensive as fruit ripening agents
Ethephon (C2H6ClO3P) No reported adverse effect on human heath for limited concentration (maximum residue limit: 1pmm to 50pmm depending on fruits)