By The Nation
The foundation said 92 per cent of the bubble tea brands available in Thailand carry sugar that is well above the recommended amount, and the “bubbles” contain a high level of food preservatives, though it is still within the legal amount.
The results of the tests conducted by the foundation were published in Chalardsue magazine’s latest edition.
Saree Ongsomwang, the foundation’s secretary-general, told reporters that only two brands maintained the 24 grams or six teaspoons of sugar recommended by the World Health Organisation for daily intake. The brands KOI The and TEA 65 had 16g and 22g per serving respectively.
Brands that carry the highest amount of sugar are CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice with 74g, Moma’s Bubble Tea Bar with 68g and Formosa with 65g.
The foundation had in May collected samples of bubble milk tea from 25 outlets. The samples were in a normal size cup with no ice, and were priced at between Bt23 and Bt140 per cup.
Saree said no lead contamination was found in the samples.
Food preservatives found in the bubbles (dark squishy boiled tapioca balls) were Benzoic and Sorbic acids. Tests showed that bubble tea from The ALLEY had the lowest amount of Sorbic acid at 58.39 milligrams per kilogram, while BRIX Desert Bar had the highest amount of both preservatives at 551.09mg per kg, though it is still within the safe limit.
“These products were tested so consumers learn about the sugar content. All the brands carry food preservatives, but they don’t provide this information in the labels as required by the Food and Drug Administration,” Saree said, adding that sellers should at least downsize their servings so people don’t consume too much sugar.
Dentist Manthana Chawannakul, deputy manager of the Dek Thai Mai Kin Wan Network (Anti-sugar consumption for Thai kids network), said people should refrain from consuming overly-sweet drinks as large intakes of sugar can disrupt the body’s metabolism and lead to lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes.