Four dried tofu brands found to contain banned chemical dye

By Zane Kheir ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — An inspection conducted on dried tofu in Hong Kong revealed that a well known dried tofu brand uses chemical agent dimethyl yellow (�G�Ұ���), which dyes food yellow, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported yesterday.

According to the Health Bureau of Taichung City (�x���åͧ�), investigations show that this problem is not isolated to a single food plant, as an inspection team gathered samples from five separate companies in the Taichung area, in which three contained the chemical dimethyl yellow, which research suggests could be connected to certain forms of cancers of the liver. Acting director of the FDA , Chiang Yu-mei (������), stated that samples were taken from Huang Dah Mu Foods (�~���@�a���j�� ), Bao Hong Co. (�_�E���~�������q), Yu Hsiang Food Co. (�έ����~�ѥ��������q), Fu Che Frozen Food Co. (�ְO�N�᭹�~�ѥ��������q ) and Hwang Ryh Siang Co. (���魻�ѥ��������q)

Results showed that Huang Dah Mu’s black pepper tofu and Bao Hong’s Tahsi dried tofu, as well as Yu Hsiang’s spicy flavor dried tofu contained the yellow dye. Chiang noted that the bureau is conducting a follow-up investigation into the tofu’s manufacturing process to confirm whether dimethyl yellow is used. Chiang added that the three tainted dried tofu products are to be taken off all retail shelves. The Hong Kong food and drug authorities announced yesterday that they detected dimethyl yellow in Te Chang’s (�w��) black pepper dried tofu. The report showed that the banned ingredient was added in the manufacturing process of the tofu skin. The investigation in Taichung highlighted that the product was headed for retail centers owned by Jeou Yuan (�[�����~) in Changhua County (���ƿ�), and than an emulsifier used in the tofu skin made by Qian Hsin (ˡ�ʹ��~) was headed for markets in Tainan City (�x�n��) and distributed through 11 different wholesalers.

Advisories are to be made today requiring retailers to recall all tainted products from shelves before Dec. 20, or face a fine of NT$60,000-NT$50 million for violation of food-safety laws. The Taichung Health Bureau re-conducted an investigation testing the dried tofu products of the above-mentioned major dried tofu manufacturers. The second round of testing confirmed that Huang Dah Mu’s black pepper tofu, Bao Hong’s Tahsi tofu and Yu Hsiang’s spicy flavor tofu contained dimethyl yellow. Together with the findings in Hong Kong, a total of four tofu manufactures have been found using banned ingredients in their products.