|After green tea and brown tea melon seeds are soaked in it for half an hour, water changing to green and red. (File Photo)|
The results of an investigation of green tea-flavored and brown tea-flavored melon seeds by Dragon TV reporters in Shanghai and Anhui and Jiangsu provinces have triggered a new round of public concern over food safety.
The production of melon seeds using banned food dye additives is quite common in China, Yangtse Evening Post reports.
The test by Dragon TV showed that two bottles of water changed to green and red, respectively, after green tea and brown tea melon seeds were soaked in them, indicating that they had been manufactured using food dye additives.
This photo shows water changing to yellow after spiced (R) and cream melon seeds are soaked in it. (File Photo)
Compared to licensed large fried snack food companies, the problem is much worse among small vendors. Many street peddlers add banned alums and French white additives that may cause dementia and cancer to melon seeds to make them dry and smooth looking, according to an insider who works in the fried snack industry in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.
To make melon seeds with different flavors, flavoring and staining material is a must in processing.
An unnamed expert at the Jiangsu Provincial Quality Inspection Administration said food additives are allowed in melon seeds, but they must be clearly labeled on packages.
For example, green tea melon seeds contain no green tea inside them, so they should be labeled as green tea-flavored melon seeds.
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