Unhealthy preservatives found in rice dumplings


TAIPEI–Nearly half of the dried daikon slivers used in rice dumplings recently checked by New Taipei City health authorities were found to contain excessive levels of preservatives, consumption of which could damage the liver over the long term, an official said Wednesday.

In a check conducted in late May on the ingredients used in rice dumplings, traditionally consumed during the Dragon Boat Festival, one of the most important festivals on the Chinese calendar, health inspectors found that 47 percent of the dried daikon slivers checked contained excessive levels of benzoic acid, a preservative.

Some were found to contain levels as high as seven times the permitted amount, which is 0.6 grams per kilo of food, said Lin Kuan-chen, a public health official.

Intake of benzoic acid, which inhibits bacterial growth, can reduce appetite and damage the liver over the long term, Lin added.