Tea Board to adopt foolproof sugar tests
Sri Lanka amendments to tea regulation and drafting of a foolproof mechanism to ward off the ills of the tea industry particularly sugar found in the beverage is currently in the pipeline.
Authorities are commencing a new methodology to test sugar added in the manufacture of tea with samples collected from end June, Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Chairman Lucille Wijewardena told the Business Times.
“I would prefer to adopt a method that is foolproof and which is acceptable in a court of law,” he said.
The SLTB will conduct the collection of samples from end June and might even employ a Tea Research Institute (TRI) official to ensure more transparency involved in the process, he said.
Mr. Wijewardena noted that this new foolproof method would be employed in a bid to overcome the concerns aired by the industry and in this respect, the TRI would be using baseline figures for the past one year.
The TRI will issue the baseline figures, which is the sugar levels that should be allowed in made tea, the SLTB Chairman explained.
He pointed out that however this could vary according to area, elevation and district and explained that this new method would allow testing to be carried out within one hour and establish the presence of sugar in the tea.
Mr. Wijewardena said the method would be validated to come up with some mock trial, which is important to gain approval from the scientific community and that which could be produced in a court of law.
He noted that there needs to be an aggressive campaign and said that the authorities would continue to carry out these tests regularly until the problem is resolved.
Commenting on the tests carried out on the last batch of 55 factories, he said they were continuing to conduct investigations and have asked these offenders to show cause.
Moreover, the fines imposed on these offenders that is currently at Rs.10,000 would be increased to Rs.500,000 in future, he said.
Source - http://www.sundaytimes.lk/180603/business-times/tea-board-to-adopt-foolproof-sugar-tests-296378.html