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Fears over additive that makes pork addictive

By Cai Wenjun and Xu Chi  (Shanghai Daily)

07:59, May 03, 2012

An additive that enhances the flavor of braised pork so much that people become addicted to the dish has been discovered in neighboring Jiangsu Province, setting off alarm bells in Shanghai.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration yesterday warned local restaurants after it was found that the additive is also available in local markets. The administration will check to see how prevalent the use of the additive is in local eateries.

The additive, dubbed "King of Meat Additive," can be found in many food markets in Nanjing, the Jiangsu capital, and is used by many restaurant chefs who know the secret of the taste and don't eat the pork dish themselves.

In the same way that some hotpot restaurants used to add poppy shells to the soup to lure back customers, this additive did the trick with the pork dish.

The Shanghai FDA said yesterday the three relevant ingredients in the composition of the additive were legal synthetic flavors that can be used in all kinds of food, except raw meat in which the use of flavors is banned.

The flavors can't be used to cover food that has gone bad, to make counterfeit products and the least amount should be used, according to food safety regulations.

The Shanghai FDA said local restaurants should avoid using or use a minimum amount of the additive while cooking pork with brown sauce and other dishes.

The additive is made of chemical synthetics that contain chlorine and it can irritate the human gastronomic and digestive systems, Mo Baoqing, a professor of Nanjing Medical University, told Guangzhou Daily.

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