Sunday, July 2, 2017

Cheap ingredients used in food products for Eastern Europe' -FOOD APARTHEID

Jul 03 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
'FOOD APARTHEID' - 'Cheap ingredients used in food products for E Europe'

It looks like Nutella, smells like Nutella and yet doesn't quite taste like the famous Italian chocolate spread.Eastern European leaders are fuming after tests suggested that big Western brands use cheaper ingredients in food products sold in former communist countries. While Bulgaria's premier Boyko Borisov has slammed the practice as “food apartheid“, Czech agriculture minister Marian Jurecka declared in late February that the east was tired of being “Europe's garbage can“. Recent government-backed studies in Hungary , Slovakia and the Czech Republic indicated that many items sold with identical packaging were of superior quality in richer neighbouring European Union countries. The findings prompted Bul garia to carry out its own tests.On Wednesday , the national food watchdog confirmed there were discrepancies with at least seven out of 31 products bought from the same food chain stores in Bulgaria, Germany and Austria.
A chocolate dessert had less milk and cocoa than its German counterpart, for instance. Soft drinks purchased in Bulgarian supermarkets contained sweeteners, while those in Aust ria were prepa red with sugar. “Many of these deviations are considered minor from the viewpoint of (European Union) regulations,“ the agency's chief Damyan Iliev told Bulgarian media on Wednesday. “But Bulgarian consu mers are being misled in that they believe they are buying the same product when in fact they are not.“ The experts also noted that 16 of the tested products were sold at higher prices in the EU's poorest member state than in Germany and Austria, with baby purees twice as expensive. The controversy has struck a raw nerve in the region where Western foods used to be a luxury.
The firms, however, argue that recipes are merely tweaked to suit local palates and that no rules were broken.

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