My auntie got a box of mandarin oranges and took some out and soaked them in water. Later, she asked me to smell the water. She said it always smells of sulphur. I was skeptical. Why should it smell of sulphur? I stuck my face into the bowl and took a deep breath. At first there was no smell, then at the end of the breath, the sulphur hit me. Very strong. Smelled it again. Yup, strong smell of sulphur. I was astounded. Why would they put sulphur on oranges??? And how much sulphur is on the oranges if even the soaking water stinks?

So I went home and tried it with my own oranges. I took off the individual plastic bags and took a sniff. No smell. No orange smell, no sulphur smell, no other chemical smell, nothing whatsoever. But after I inhaled, I coughed. I sniffed 8 oranges. Every single one made me cough. There wasn’t any smell but something irritated my throat. Then I soaked them in water. After about 30 mins, yup! Strong smell of sulphur in the water. I threw away the water and soaked the oranges in veggie wash for 45 mins. Took them out and rinsed. Now they had a strong chemical smell. Some smelled of chemicals in spots, and some smelled of the veggie wash (because I soaked them for too long). I scrubbed each one with dish detergent and soaked them again in clean water. After that, the water was clean, no smell. But… some of the oranges still had the chemical smell. It was not reduced at all. The veggie wash smell was almost all gone though. I don’t know how else to get rid of the chemical smell. After sniffing these oranges (after washing), I felt the chemicals stuck at the back of my throat and went hacckkkk, but it’s still stuck there.

So, please wash your fruits before eating! Even though you don’t eat the skin, after peeling it, there would be sulphur stuck on your hands and you would touch the flesh. Or if you throw the skin in your compost bin, it would go into your soil. How much has been absorbed into the fruit when they soaked it, I don’t know. By the way, this is YONG CHUN brand. My auntie’s is the ponkam and mine is the regular one.

Found this on the net:

Toxic Food Preservatives: Sulphur Dioxide and Sulfites

“[Sulphur] is produced industrially… for sulfites (preservation). As it has no role in human or mammalian biology, when introduced, it inhibits specific nerve signals, restricts lung performance, and is a direct allergen — over 65% of asthmatic children are sensitive to sulphur dioxide, and it negatively affects over 70% of children with behavioral problems.

Sulphur dioxide is used as a preservative because it works as an antimicrobial preventing the growth of bacteria, mold, and fungus; an antioxidant preventing rancidity; and as a chemical that attacks enzymes that cause discoloration, ripening, and rotting, usually in fruits after harvest.

Sulphur dioxide is still being used as a food preservative in many common snack foods despite being one of the top two air pollutants in urban areas, a corrosive gas, a primary cause of haze and acid rain, and a cause of respiration problems, lung disease, early death (due to a thiamine deficiency), documented water and plant damage, cardiovascular disease, blood toxication, developmetal toxication, gastro-intestinal and liver disease, neurological disturbances, irritable bowel syndrome, behavior disturbances, skin rashes, asthma, folic acid deficiency, as well as a nose and ear irritant.”


Please share and inform your friends and family!

UPDATE: Someone posted an interesting comment below.

“Michelle Lee McGuire: Dear Ms Jo,

Please be very careful when you posted up something not true on FB as you might get caught with your untrue findings. Lokam soaked with sulphur that you claimed are not true. FYI, All citrus are treated with the same chemical called imazalil to prevent from rotting, same as Sunkist and others . All being certified with phyto and approved by exporting and importing countries. The health ministry take sample of each container since last year and no trace of irregularities.

Detail on imazalil

And it’s safe !”

The link she provided says:

“In 1999, based on studies in rodents, enilconazole was identified as “likely to be carcinogenic in humans” under The Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft Guidelines for Carcinogenic Assessment.[5] However, because pesticide residues are well below the concentrations associated with risk, the lifetime cancer risk estimate associated with citrus fruit contamination was valued as insignificant.[5]

The EPA has established an equivalent toxicity level for human exposure at 6.1 x 10−2 mg/kg/day. This level placed it in Category I, II, and IV for oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity.[5] Category I is classified as highly irritating to the eyes, but not to the skin. As for oral toxicity, when the fungicide is transferred via food into the body, it must be metabolized before it can do any damage.

Under California’s Proposition 65, enilconazole is listed as “known to the State to cause cancer”.[7]” ”

Well, I don’t know what she means by cancer is ‘safe’, but next week I will send an orange to the Jabatan Kesihatan to test.

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