Number of snack foods from Taiwan banned in China

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Aug 04, 2013 - Page 3

A product of Kuai Kuai Co, one of Taiwan’s well-known snack companies, has been banned in China by the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in its June report, which it made public late last month.

The administration said Kuai Kuai’s chocolate chips, which are imported by a Chinese company in Xiamen, contain talc, a mineral that can be used in food as anti-caking agent or thickener.

Another famous food product from Taiwan, TK Food’s square baked wheat cookie, or cubic pastry, has also been banned from the Chinese market, over its use of the Sunset Yellow FCF coloring agent.

There are several other Taiwan-made food products listed as substandard by the Chinese government, and the reasons include substandard packaging, the presence of maleic acid or excessive levels of coliform bacteria or aerobic plate count, according to the report published online.

In a statement issued on Friday, Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration said that both Talc and Sunset Yellow FCF are approved internationally as acceptable food additives if they do not exceed maximum permitted levels.

The UN’s Codex Alimentarius Commission allows the use of talc in various food categories, such as cakes and dairy-based desserts, and the EU allows it in chewing gum, grain products, meat products and egg products, it added.

Taiwan also has a maximum residue level — 5g/kg — for talc in food products, the agency said.

As for Sunset Yellow FCF, the agency said the coloring agent is also approved for use in food products both domestically and internationally.

Kuai Kuai was quoted in a Central News Agency report as saying in response that none of its products on the Taiwanese market contain the mineral and the talc-containing products exported to China were only samples developed according to the importer’s request.

Meanwhile, TK Food Baked Wheat Cookie was quoted as saying that it never used any coloring agent in its pastry and the Chinese commerce company reported to have imported its products to China is not among TK’s customers, expressing doubt over the authenticity of the product tested.