Home > NEWS > Yewale tea adulterated with dye, says lab report

Yewale tea adulterated with dye, says lab report

26,January, 2020

The findings of central government-run food laboratory are based on samples sent by FDA

Yewale Food Products — which has multiple tea shops in Pune — has now come under the scanner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after it found that samples collected from them were adulterated.

The organisation received a lab report on Tuesday which said that the samples contained synthetic colour used to dye tea powder.

The FDA had sent the tea samples a month ago to the central government-run food laboratory in Mysuru, Karnataka.

The report said that a synthetic dye called tartrazine was used to dye the tea powder. This is not allowed as per the food safety rules and can be harmful to health, said FDA officials.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), 2011, regulation 2.10.1 (1) on tea says, “The product shall be free from extraneous matter, added colouring matter and harmful substances.”

Earlier in September 2019, an inspection was conducted by the FDA at a Yewale Food Products facility in Katraj and it issued a stop-work notice after finding violations of the food safety rules. FDA officials, during the raid, found tea powder, tea masala and sugar manufactured and packaged by Yewale under its brand name.

Mandatory details like content, manufacturing date, expiry date and others were missing from the packaging. There was also no quality check from an FSSAI-approved laboratory. Samples from these products were sent for testing.

“The reports were found which approved the standard of preparatory food but I was suspicious about the findings. I decided to send it to the referral food laboratory in Mysuru, run by the central government,” said Suresh Deshmukh, joint commissioner, FDA, Pune region.

“There are no provisions for use of colour in tea in the FSSAI guidelines, as it would lead to food safety and health problems. The colour has been used to make the tea look more attractive. There are some colours which are non-toxic and permitted by FSSAI to be used in products like sweets and fruit juices. FSSAI permits use of eight synthetic colours in specific food items and tea is not included in that list,” he added. Tea (finished product/made tea) occasionally contains extraneous colouring materials which are not allowed. It is called adulterant tea said the officials.

Apla Kandgule, a spokesperson from Yewale Food products, refuted the finding and claimed that this is not possible. “We follow the food safety standards and rules, and samples are sent by us to laboratories routinely to get a quality check. The FDA has earlier conducted an inspection at our centre, during which the samples were sent to the lab. The reports of these labs are clear and we are unaware about the lab reports form Mysuru,” she said.

Mirror reported on the matter on September 25, 2019

The report said that a synthetic dye called tartrazine was used to dye the tea powder

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