Popular teatime biscuits like Hup Seng cream crackers, Ritz cheese crackers and Oreo minis are under scrutiny after the Hong Kong Consumer Council found cancer-causing substances in them.
The council mentioned that the full set of samples contain glycidol or, and acrylamide, contaminants which emerged during the processing of the biscuits at high temperatures.
“We believe that these kinds of contaminants are possible to avoid because according to our findings some of the ingredients in these biscuits are palm oil … You can minimise the contaminants as much as possible,” said Gilly Wong Fung-han, CEO of the council
Netizens had mixed reactions to the findings as the biscuits have been a staple for generations.
Some were quick to point out that it could be the start of the anti palm oil movement once again. There are other bad foods out there that’s not fit for human consumption and palm oil should be the least of one’s worries.
There are those who cannot be bothered with such findings and continue eating their favourite snack.
While others are tired of the rinse and repeat of such “findings”, calling out bullshit on such reports.
The more serious issue in the findings would be the non-compliance to the nutritional labels. In other words, these snacks may not be as healthy as the packaging claims it to be.
“The remaining 57 samples, their actual nutrient content from the test results was compared with the value declared on their nutrition labels. It was found that 23 samples had discrepancies that exceeded the stipulated tolerance limit. Out of which the total fat content for 5 samples, SFA content for 8 samples, TFA content for 1 sample, sodium content for 7 samples, sugar content for 5 samples, and dietary fibre content for 2 samples were found with discrepancies of over 20%, which was not compliant with the tolerance limit set in the Centre for Food Safety’s “Technical Guidance Notes on Nutrition Labelling and Nutrition Claims”. The most severe discrepancy was the SFA content for a cracker sample, which had a 76-time variance between its labelled value of 0.08g per 100g and the actual content of 6.13g from the test results.”
Source: Consumer Council
The press release concluded by saying that the quality control standards need to improve for these food manufacturing industries.
The Malaysia Health Ministry said that they will launch an investigation on the affected manufacturers premises.
“The implementation of the Food Safety Assurance Programme (PJKM) will be able to identify the risk and reduce further hazards or get rid of food contamination. It is the responsibility of the industry to ensure that the product produced is safe,” – Malay Mail
Hup Seng released a press statement, countering the claims made by the council.
They mentioned that they have been a socially responsible food manufacturer since 1958 and product safety and quality have always been their priority.
Hup Seng also said that they are willing to comply with any investigations if need be.
Reporter’s Opinions: You wanna know what else has carcinogenic substances in them? Anything that’s fried in high temperatures. Say goodbye to your keropok, goreng pisang, epok-epok, barbeque meats etc.
The point is to eat everything in moderation. Palm oil isn’t the only oil that will have contaminants at high temperatures. Oils like olive oil, corn oil, peanut oil and even canola oil will have the same kinda chemicals at very high temperatures. The whole point is to improve industry standards when it comes to refining such oils for human consumption.
Years ago, there was a movement against palm oil because one other oil manufacturer wanted a slice of the big pie. They started touting the benefits of canola oil as being superior. Fun fact, canola oil plant is a result of crossbreeding and it is genetically modified to produce more oil.
Not every healthy product is actually healthy. It’s just capitalism and really good marketing, at the expense of one’s health. Be wise, eat everything that you can in moderation.
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