A PRESERVED fruit scandal which hit popular local brand Laiyifen has spread to other Shanghai snack brands.

Tenwow and Baiweilin have recalled preserved fruits produced by some Hangzhou manufacturers who have been accused of using excessive amounts of food additives, local quality authorities said yesterday.

Meanwhile, in the latest inspection carried out by the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, preserved plums bearing the Lifeng brand were found to contain excess sweetener.

The bureau said that Shanghai Tenwow Co Ltd recalled more than 970 kilograms of preserved prunes produced by the Hangzhou Chenyuan Food Co Ltd. Tenwow has destroyed all products thought to have been affected.

Shanghai Baiweilin Food Co Ltd recalled more than 10 types of preserved fruits. The products are now back in the company's warehouses.

The plums from Shanghai Lifeng Food Co Ltd have been sealed and confiscated.

The bureau said Baiweilin also provided false information on labels and its investigation was continuing.

"The recalling amount is not huge," said Shen Weimin, deputy director of the bureau. "As preserved fruits are fast-consumed products, most consumers have eaten them soon after purchase."

The scandal came to light when a China Central Television investigation found excess amounts of harmful food additives being used in the production of preserved fruits in three factories in Hangzhou.

The additives, including flavoring, coloring and bleaching agents, were potentially harmful to the liver and kidneys, CCTV said.

They were also being used in workshops that were extremely filthy, the TV report said.

CCTV later sent some samples purchased in stores for testing and the results showed that the amount of additives were higher than the country's standard.

Shanghai-based preserved food chain store Laiyifen stopped selling fruit products from the three Hangzhou suppliers named in the program.

After the scandal was exposed, the bureau carried out a citywide inspection on preserved fruit sold in Shanghai. The results showed that 20 out of 108 batches of products failed tests.

The main problems uncovered were the overuse of coloring and sweeteners.

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