Are you one of those silly Malaysians especially the teenage orang Cina (Chinese) Malaysia who love spending time chatting over their favorite bubble tea or pearl milk tea drinks? Then read on…
As reported in The Star, the Health Ministry has suspended the import of 11 Taiwanese tapioca starch balls that are used in popular ‘bubble teas’, after Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority had found maleic acid in 11 starch-based products from Taiwan.
Maleic acid an unapproved food additive which is usually not used in food manufacturing. It can add viscosity and elasticity to the tapioca balls. Long-term consumption of this acid can lead to kidney damage.
Food watchdog in Taiwan has so far recalled and sealed 206 tons of starch products that were found to have contained maleic acid.
Last year (2012), German researchers from the University Hospital Aachen have reportedly found traces of the carcinogenic chemical ( known aspolychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs) in those chewy tapioca ball samples. [source]
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