Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)
Mangaluru, Mar 11: A coterie involved with distributing cheap tea power is very active not only in coastal Karnataka but also in many other districts. Many hotels and canteen owners purchase this tea powder, having been lured by low price, attractive colour etc. This substandard tea powder business has been delivering deadly blows to genuine tea powder traders.
This tea powder comes here from Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu. From Bengaluru too the adulterated tea powder reaches here in the form of different brands. It gets distributed in Bantwal, Vittal and Kerala border areas in Dakshina Kannada as well as Udupi district. This powder is available in attractive names.
In the past, this tea powder was sold in small quantity but since the last six months, this has grown into a huge business, sources say. There is suspicion that this substandard tea power also is supplied to north Karnataka districts.
This tea powder is not sold in vans bearing company labels. They reach the hotels along with line sales of other food products. They normally do not get to the shops because the people can easily find out the difference. Hotels and canteens which are lured by the prospects of making huge profits by buying a cheaper tea buy such a powder. The Food Safety Act stipulates that no colour can be added to tea and when it is put into cold water, the colour should not easily be transferred to water. Light colour is emitted when the water with tea powder is heated.
Normally tea power is sold at Rs 170 to 180 per kg. But those involved with adulteration are able to get the powder for Rs 80 to 100 per kg. By adding some Persian blue, Bismarck brown or indigo colour, they sell the tea. Those who consume this tea do not find any difference in taste or flavour.