Singapore

Milk tea is back and 'improved'

Chun Cui He Taiwan milk returns to stores - without the non-permitted food additive

Popular Chun Cui He Taiwan milk tea is back on the shelves - this time without the non-permitted food additive that prompted its recall in August.

Chun Cui He announced that its bottled tea is back "with an improved formula" in a Facebook post on Thursday.

A spokesman for Abana, the brand's Singapore supplier, told The Straits Times yesterday that the drink was being progressively rolled out to all 7-Eleven stores and "should be in most stores by today".

A spokesman for 7-Eleven, which carries the Chun Cui He brand exclusively here, said the drink was approved for sale and consumption in mid-November. It is still priced at $2.80.

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) in August pulled the milk tea from shelves as it contained L-theanine, a non-permitted food additive.

Yesterday, the AVA told ST that importers must check the ingredients list against the Singapore Food Regulations, and that it understood from the importer that the milk tea does not contain the additive.

L-theanine, an amino acid found naturally in tea plants and fungi, is said to have calming properties.

The Abana spokesman said its Taiwan supplier had removed L-theanine from the drink.

Taiwanese food company Bifido, which produces the milk tea, previously said it had submitted documents to AVA to register L-theanine as a permitted food additive.

Abana's spokesman said the ingredient was slated to be approved by "the first quarter of 2017", but they decided to reintroduce the drink as soon as possible without the additive to avoid any delay.

He added that response so far "is very positive", and that the company is still monitoring the situation.

Both the importer and 7-Eleven claimed the drink tastes exactly the same.

Customers have already started posting pictures of their milk tea purchases on social media.

They may be in for more soon.

The 7-Eleven spokesman said: "Customers can look forward to more flavours from Chun Cui He in 2017."

 

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