FSA takes 400 tons of coconut water off shelves due to ‘hidden’ sugars
Seven brands of coconut water sold in the UK contain hidden sugar not mentioned on packs, an investigation has found.
The National Food Crime Unit has found added sugar in the drink, which is considered a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks and sugary beverages.
It found added sugar in more than half of samples tested according to The Grocer magazine.
The worst offenders were brands including Chi, Foco, Go Coco, Tropical Sun, Suncrest, Yaco and Pearl Royal. As a result, the authority removed 400 tons from the market.
The Food Standards Agency said 12 samples of coconut water were analysed, 10 of which were deemed to be unsatisfactory.
Seven samples did not meet required standards due to the addition of sugar derived from an external source and/or water. Three failed tests due to the use of unauthorised nutrition or health claims on the labelling – these related to the product falsely purporting to be cholesterol free, and having antioxidant properties.
A Chi spokesman said: “We take the matter extremely seriously and have, since then, put in many checks to ensure our standards are met before the product leaves Asia.”
A spokesman for Tropical Sun also said the company was aware of “wider industry issues” and therefore had a strict testing regime in place.
Ross Currie, MD of Freedom Brands, which owns Go Coco, said: “The FSA did some random testing on one of our production batches from early 2016 which found that this batch did not meet their criteria and that there was a possibility that exogenous sugar was present. This conclusion could not be proven 100 per cent.”