As many as 77.29 quintals of fruits and vegetables were found in various Punjab markets, which were not fit for consumption.

Tandrust Punjab Mission Director KS Pannu said that under the Tandrust Punjab Mission, 62 teams of Mandi (market) officials supported by officers of Health and Horticulture department inspected the main Fruit and Vegetable Markets of the state.

The inspection was aimed at checking the incidence of unethical ripening of fruits and vegetables. The checks at various private ripening chambers as well as the godowns of wholesale merchants brought to fore zero cases of artificial ripening.

“However, during the probe, 77.29 quintals of fruits and vegetables were found not fit for consumption and were destroyed on the spot,” said Pannu.

Giving details Mission Director informed that destroyed fruits and veggies included 3 quintals from Amritsar, 3 crates of bananas in Pathankot, 2 quintal of potatoes in Batala, 1.10 quintal vegetables in Faridkot, 1.32 quintal vegetables at Rampura Phul, 3 quintals of papaya and banana in Mansa, 1.4 quintal fruits in Budlada, 5 quintals of banana and papaya at Hoshiarpur, 12 quintals onions at Garhshankar, 1.50 quintals of papaya at Ludhiana, 1.50 quintals papaya at Khanna, 1 quintal pomegranate and two quintal potatoes at Chamkaur Sahib.

Similarly, three quintal vegetables in Nangal (Anandpur Sahib), 1.50 quintal vegetables in Nabha and five quintal vegetables in Samana were destroyed.

“Now the fruit is being ripened ethically using ethephon sachets, ethylene mini cylinders and ethylene generator in the ripping chambers. Ripening with 100 ppm ethylene gas for 24 hours, it is the appropriate and scientific way to ripen the fruits,” Pannu said.