Allegations that oil products made by Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co (大統長基) contain illegal additives intensified yesterday as health authorities pulled more products made by the company off store shelves.
Prosecutors and health officials on Wednesday raided the offices of Chang Chi after being tipped off that its olive oil products might not be as “pure” as it claims.
Authorities seized 2,490 liters of olive oil, along with raw materials and the company’s accounting books during the search.
Chang Chi chairman Kao Cheng-li (高振利) was brought in for questioning before being released on NT$1 million (US$33,978) bail on Wednesday evening.
Authorities said that the olive oil products manufactured by the company, which it markets as “100 percent pure,” were suspected of being mixed with sunflower oil, salad oil, camellia oil and the illegal additive copper complex chlorophyllin.
After getting hold of the company’s product formulas, officials from Changhua County Government’s health bureau yesterday said they further suspected that other products made by the firm — including grapeseed oil, sunflower oil and other mixed oils — may also contain chlorophyllin, and ordered the company to take the products off shelves.
As of yesterday, 34 types of oil products have been ordered taken off the shelves nationwide, including Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖) brand grapeseed oil, which Taisugar outsources to Chang Chi for production.
Changhua County health bureau director Yeh Yen-po (葉彥伯) said that based on the initial recipe obtained from Chang Chi’s factory, its olive oil appears to include up to 20 percent camellia oil.
He added that further investigation was needed to confirm precise ratios.
Kao and company vice chairman Wang Ching-lung (王清龍) apologized to the public yesterday, attributing the flaw to a lapse in quality control. They said that as the production lines were first used for sunflower oil, other oils may have gotten mixed in when they were used to produce olive oil.
They said the company would take full responsibility and accept requests for replacements if individuals provide proof of purchase.