A carcinogenic dye has been added to batches of chili powder in the south central Binh Dinh Province to make it look tastier, local food safety inspectors found Thursday.
Inspectors said the powder at factories in My Chanh Commune, Phu My District, tested positive for Rhodamine B, a poisonous dye compound linked to cancer and banned from use as a food additive in Vietnam.
Owners of the factories, which have been open for seven years now, told the officials they had mixed the chemical with ground cashew nuts before adding the mixture to chili powder to make the color more appealing.
Chili powder products from Binh Dinh have been distributed to Hue, Da Nang, and Dak Lak and Kon Tum Provinces in the Central Highlands, as well as to Ho Chi Minh City, to be processed into spices for instant noodles and dried seafood.
On Tuesday, food safety officials in Thua Thien Hue Province also found Rhodamine B-laced chili powder at the local Dong Ba and An Cuu markets, where vendors said they bought the powder from Binh Dinh and Quang Ngai provinces.
Source: Thanh Nien