Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has recalled 11 food products from sale after traces of maleic acid were found to be present.
In a press statement on Sunday, AVA stated that they had conducted further tests on 66 food products from Taiwan after maleic acid was found in tapioca balls that are used in bubble tea drinks. Of the 66 food products AVA has tested thus far, maleic acid was found to be present in 11 products. Most of the affected products were tapioca starch balls used in the preparation of bubble tea beverages.
On 20th May, Taiwan Food and Drug Administration detected presence of maleic acid, an unapproved food additive in some food products, leading to the recall of Sunright brand tapioca balls in Singapore.
AVA stated in their statement that they have informed the importers of the affected products to withdraw them from sale immediately, and that withdrawal has been completed. Consumers who have bought these products should either return them to the retailer or discard them and not consume them.
AVA is monitoring the situation closely and continues to survey products from Taiwan to ensure that they do not contain maleic acid.
Maleic acid is not an approved additive. It is also not an additive that is usually used in manufacturing food products. Long term consumption of high levels of maleic acid can cause kidney damage. However, occasional consumption at the levels detected does not pose any significant health risk.
The affected products are:
- “Hong” brand tapioca Starch, manufactured by Kai. & Co. Hong Foods Taiwan
- “Redman” brand black tapioca pearl, manufactured by Possmei International Co Ltd
- “Sunright” brand indica rice powder, manufactured by Sunright Foods Corporation
- “Top 1” brand tapioca pearls, manufactured by Shang Wang
- “Tea World” brand tapioca starch balls, manufactured by Grand Chainly Enterprises Co. Ltd.
- “Ting Long” brand tapioca pearls, manufactured by Ting Long
- “Sun Chi” brand noodles, manufactured by Sun Chi Zhi Mian Chang
- “T&M Resources Corp” brand tapioca pearls, manufactured by An Li Si
- “Pure Tea” brand white tapioca pearls, manufactured by M/s Taiwan Tapioca Foods Company Ltd