Unknown agent for boosting fruit ripeness seized

Inspectors in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak have seized 650 bottles of an unknown chemical that is able to accelerate the ripeness of fruits including durian

Some durians are seen in this photo illustration

Inspectors in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak have seized 654 bottles of an unknown chemical that is able to accelerate the ripeness of fruits including durian.

The seizure was made at two establishments in Ea Yong Commune and Phuoc An Town on October 5, said Nguyen Minh Tang, deputy chief inspector of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

This chemical, packed in 500-ml bottles, bears the brand “Trai Chin” (Ripened Fruit) and is manufactured by a company in Ho Chi Minh City, Tang said.

As shown on the packaging, the chemical is called “fertilizer for leaves”, which is not included in the list of agricultural chemicals allowed for use by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Fruit traders mix this agent with water to create a solution, into which they soak fruits to make them ripen in a short time, even 24 hours, in order to save expenses and times on preserving fruits while boosting sales at high prices, said inspectors.

They also said they have sent samples of the chemical to concerned agencies for testing and have required the manufacturer to provide documents regarding the quality and legality of the product.

If the product is identified as one of the banned chemicals, the producer will be punished in accordance with applicable laws, inspectors said.

For the time being, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned all fruit growers not to use this product as it can contain substances that are harmful to human health.

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