TAIPEI (The China Post) – It is the season of hand-shaken drinks again, but beware of the calories in each cup as you buy your next drink. John Tung Foundation unveiled on June 3 its latest “Report on Hand-shaken Drinks Labeling and Their Actual Sugar Level and Calorie Content.” According to the report, pearl milk tea with red beans (boba), which contains 504.6 calories in a 500-ml cup, has the highest amount of calories among all drinks surveyed. At the same time, a seemingly healthy drink such as honey lemon aloe contains 86 calories, which exceeds the recommended daily sugar intake of 50 grams.
On Jan. 3, John Tung Foundation began investigating 22 popular hand-shaken drink franchises in Taipei, focusing on 55 storefronts and 169 items on the menu. The report also unveils that honey lemon aloe has the highest levels of sugar with 96 grams in a 500-ml serving followed by black sugar plum juice with 80 grams of sugar, coming in second.
According to nutritionist You Hsuan-wen and the manual written by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the amount of inverted sugar syrup one should consume each day should preferably not exceed 10 percent of the total fat consumption on that day. Inverted sugar syrup is not a natural component of the sugar in food; it is sugar or syrup artificially fused with food when produced. Hypothetically, if an adult consumes 2000 calories every day, the fat that he or she acquires from inverted sugar syrup should not exceed 200 calories or 50 grams. As of the boba beverages mentioned above, the amount of inverted sugar syrup all easily exceeds the recommended amount.
You explained that all drinks with high calories usually include artificial ingredients too. For example, by drinking one cup of red bean pearl milk tea, a grown man will exceed ¼ of his calory intake with a total of 2,000 calories. To burn those calories, you will need to jog for about an hour.
The John Tung Foundation further disclosed that due to the amount of sugar and calory intake in a hand-shaken drink, it brings up many problems. Mr. Wish, Tea Top and Xing Fu Tang(幸福堂) are all places that do not follow the law of informing consumers of how much sugar, calory, and fat are in each drink. They did not include values for added ingredients which makes the depicted values drastically different from the actual values.
Li Wan-chen of the Food and Drugs Administration stated that a conference with related experts was hosted in March this year and there will be a regulation for the amount of sugar and calory intake per drink. The amounts of sugar and fat in added artificial ingredients may vary due to seasonal or man-made factors, so boba vendors are required to inform consumers on how much these values deviate from the standard amounts per fixed time period. This requirement may be launched as soon as next year.