Sat, Jun 02, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Chicken essence content labeling panned

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A woman drinks a bottle of chicken essence during a press conference held by the Consumers' Foundation, which claims that 30 percent of all bottled chicken essence does not show the correct amount of sodium.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Thirty percent of the bottled essence of chicken sold in the nation does not show the correct amount of sodium it contains, which might mislead the public into consuming too much of the electrolyte, the Consumers' Foundation (消基會) said yesterday.

The foundation tested 30 samples of chicken essence in March.

It found that nine of them had incorrect sodium content labeling, which violates Article 19 of the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法).

Violators are subject to fines of between NT$30,000 (US$910) and NT$150,000 and must make improvements within a given period of time.

Since most of the sodium contained in food is absorbed by the body, patients with high blood pressure, heart diseases or kidney diseases should carefully control their sodium intake, the non-profit organization said.

Eleven of the samples did not provide a recommended daily intake. The foundation suggested that manufacturers print the information on the packaging as a friendly reminder to consumers.

According to the standards for the labeling of packaged foods the maximum daily intake of sodium is set at 2,400mg.

Tests on the 30 samples showed that they contain between 30mg and 230mg of

sodium per 100 milliliters of chicken essence.

Although the sodium content in the samples are lower than the suggested

daily intake, consumers are still likely to absorb more sodium from other

food products, which underlines the importance of chicken essence

manufacturers' correctly labeling their products, the foundation said.

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