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Copper chlorophyll found in olive oil shipment
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-10 11:43 AM
The Food and Drug Administration has detected copper chlorophyll in another batch of olive oil, but this time the culprits are not local food producers. The tainted oil was a shipment from Italy, and routine testing of a sample by the FDA revealed the presence of copper chlorophyll, a dye added to lend the green color that some consumers look for in olive oil. The agency ordered the importer to send the entire shipment of 1.8 tons back to the manufacturer or to destroy it.

Yeh Ming-kung, Director of the FDA, explains that Taiwan has taken the lead in developing high-resolution liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry identification techniques to identify the presence of copper chlorophyll. Representatives from FDA and its testing facilities were invited to attend a meeting of food experts sponsored by the International Olive Council (IOC) in March in Madrid to introduce the technology now being used in Taiwan.

In unrelated events, pesticide residues and excessive amounts of preservatives were found in a number of imported goods including pale green asparagus from Thailand, pickled mussels with excessive levels of benzoic acid, and a well-known brand of Assam tea. The substandard products must be sent back or destroyed. FDA officials recommend that consumers in Taiwan use domestic products wherever possible and wash and clean all vegetables carefully before cooking.

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