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Forced Ripen Bananas are Risky for Health!

Updated on May 3, 2013

Bananas are undoubtedly great for our health, scientists and medical researchers have confirmed about that. And should you need to know about the benefits of bananas, you can read it here: All About Bananas.

Now, I would like to reveal to your how bananas can be hazardous to your health. This might not be happening in your country but there is no reason why you shouldn't be a little bit cautious, particular when it has something to do with your health.

Bananas are bestseller fruit in my place; people here love to eat them as it is or deep fried. Deep fried bananas are great for evening tea; they are crispy and delicious, everyone just loves them.

The problem arises when the sellers here try to meet the high demand for bananas. And to produce bananas which are 'in time' or ready for consumption, they use a method known as 'forced rip'. With this method, bananas are dipped in water mixed with carbide which turn them into yellow color.

You might wonder what is carbide?

Carbide is a compound composed of carbon and a less electronegative element that are used in industrial applications. When carbide is mixed with water, they will emit heat. And if doing this in a 'close tank' such as a cylinder, the amount of heat produced is even more than the amount of a LPG cylinder can emit, so much that it can be used for 'Gas Cutting'. This means the calorific value is so high that it can replace the LPG gas. In the same way, when a banana is dipped into the water that has been mixed with carbide, the gas absorbed into the banana will make it ripe, unnaturally. Actually the banana is not really ripen, it just turned into yellow color.

Now the even bigger problem is most banana vendors are not knowledgeable when handling this type of chemical. They have no idea of the right proportion to use, they simply just mix it with any amount of carbide that they desire and in most case excess quantity are used.

The consumption of these carbide dipped bananas especially in long term can lead to the development of cancerous cells and/or some other stomach infections.There are already cases where tumors develop in the digestion system of the person who become victims of such unethical practice.

How to differentiate an Edible Banana from a Forced Ripen Banana?

Naturally Ripen Bananas
Naturally Ripen Bananas

The difference can be noted very easily. Bananas that ripe naturally are always dark yellow with small black spots all over them. The stalks are also black as well.

Carbide force ripen banana, on the other hand, are lemon yellow color and the stalks are green. Moreover, they always look very clean without any black spots on them. For people who do not have this knowledge, will often think that the bananas are from top graded and worth buying.

So next time when you are buying bananas, pay attention to the signs mention above. Don't always go for the ones which are perfect, for you might be damaging your health without you knowing it.

Chemicals Used to Ripen Bananas


Submit a Comment

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 4 years ago from Malaysia

    Thanks Rajan, thought it only happens here at my place.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    KenWu, it is a fact that bananas are treated here too with carbide to make them ripen fast. Thanks for this useful hub and telling us how to differentiate between the naturally ripe and the forced ripe bananas.

    Voted up and useful.

  • profile image

    chizy 4 years ago

    God bless the source of this information.thanks.

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 5 years ago from Malaysia

    Thanks Mark for the comment. You might be right that this is the problem faced by my country or the region over here. Anyhow the tips on how to differentiate natural ripen and forced ripen banana could be helpful to hubpages readers.

  • DrMark1961 profile image

    Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

    Not all bananas that look good are treated with chemicals. I grow bananas, I know this. I think this may just be a problem in your country, and yey you are telling all these people in the UK, Canada, and the US to be careful.

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 5 years ago from Malaysia

    Thanks tobusiness, yeap.. it's all due to irresponsible business people that want to make more profits!

  • tobusiness profile image

    Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

    Very informative article, we all love bananas it's hard to believe they can be harmful. Voting up and sharing.

  • WillSteinmetz profile image

    WillSteinmetz 6 years ago

    Nice to know more thing.

  • Neil Sperling profile image

    Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

    this is very good to know --- Thanks for the tip especially how to tell the difference.

    Carbide force ripen banana, on the other hand, are lemon yellow color and the stalks are green. Moreover, they always look very clean without any black spots on them

    Thank you

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 6 years ago from Malaysia

    Thanks Sunnie. Not sure if this is happening elsewhere but it does happen over here.

  • profile image

    Sunnie Day 6 years ago

    Great hub and very useful information. I had no idea. I love bananas. Will be more careful. Thank you.


  • daisyjae profile image

    daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

    This is good to know, i will be more careful buying bananas now.

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 6 years ago from Malaysia

    That scares me too, when I learnt about this sometime ago.

  • hypnosis4u2 profile image

    hypnosis4u2 6 years ago from Massachusetts

    This is scary if true.