We all love watermelons, but there is an alert that all of the consumers should be aware of. Maybe you have noticed some non-usual large kiwi fruit and watermelon on the shelves recently.
Farmers in China are using growth chemicals more and more in order to make more money for their enhanced weight, which is why the biggest fruit base in China has fallen in a scandal. Many other countries that are the top producers of these fruits in the world are using chemicals.
The MSNBC reported that the Chinese regulation do not forbid the usage of the substance because it is also allowed in the U.S. for use on grapes and kiwi fruit. Moreover, it has been discovered that about twenty farmers and 115 acres of watermelon were affected, around Danyang. The farmers turned to chopping up the fruit and feed the pigs and fish.
The agricultural experts claim that farmers spray a growth accelerator-Forchlorfenuron during a wet weather that makes the melons burst. This accelerator is used on kiwi and grapes raisins in Europe, Canada, Turkey, S. Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, Israel, Egypt, Chile and the U.S.
If you didn’t know, forcholferunon is a cytokinin, a substance the delays cell death and promotes cell division. It acts on septins, the key factors in cell division, mitosis, which results in larger and exploding fruits. When manufacturers apply excess of this accelerator, it stimulates the cells to divide rapidly and this is a cancer-like function.
As a result, it produces bigger fruits, but the excess growth doesn’t bring adequate nutrients, which makes the stability of the fruit and its nutritional quality to deteriorate.
According to the Pesticide Fact Sheet of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the forchlorfenuron causes increased mortality in rats tested, emaciation, growth retardation and inflammation.
Most of the watermelon at wholesale markets have been treated in this way, which is why the telltale signs are misshapen and fibrous fruit and instead of black seeds it has white.
How to recognize a fruit that has been grown with growth accelerating chemicals?
The first noticeable symptoms that the fruit has been treated this way is that it is in lack of flavor. Even though it looks ripe and plump, it tastes bad because the growth accelerators drain its flavor while it makes it grow faster. Natural grown vegetables or fruits have better taste because the flavor comes with time and it is a sign of ripeness. Many unripe vegetables and fruits are virtually tasteless.
You can recognize watermelon treated with forchlorfenuron because it is a bright colored and very large and the flesh is white instead deep red.
There are also other signs like white seeds instead of black and fibrous, misshapen fruits, etc.
But this is for the regular watermelons, because the seedless ones have a tiny white seeds.