A 200kg shipment of cheese powder imported from South Korea was recently seized at the border, after it was found to contain a prohibited sweetener, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday.
The South Korean cheese powder, imported by Taipei-based Zhen Mei Wei International Food Co, contained 0.45 grams per kilogram of a steviol glycoside sweetener, the FDA said.
Taiwan permits the use of steviol glycosides as a sweetener in certain foods and beverages such as preserved fruit, ice cream, chewing gum and soft drinks, but not in cheese powder, FDA division head Chen Ching-yu (陳慶裕) said.
The cheese powder was among 11 imported products that were not allowed to clear customs recently because they were found to contain banned substances or excessive levels of additives, he said.
The products, including banana ketchup from the Philippines, chickpeas from the US and beef from Nicaragua, would either be destroyed or returned to the country of origin, Chen said.
The importer of the cheese powder is also the agent for the South Korean fried chicken brand NeNe Chicken in Taiwan.
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