MANILA - The Department on Health is testing 300 local and imported vinegar brands sold in the country to check if these condiments use banned ingredients, a health official said Saturday.
The testing was done weeks after the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute found that 80 percent of vinegar sold in the country are not made from natural ingredients.
The agency is prioritizing the testing of local brands and initial results are due next week, Health Undersecretary Rolando Domingo said. He refused to identify the particular vinegar brands.
Synthetic acetic acid has no health risks but is not allowed in the country, he said.
The Department of Science and Technology and the Food and Drug Administration earlier conducted separate studies to check the ingredients used in vinegar and other condiments.
"Condiments usually undergo the process of fermentation, and the raw materials must come from fruits and other natural products," Raymond Sucgang, Section Head of the PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Applications Section, earlier said.
"One can only imagine all the impurities and residues from the petroleum by-products, which can be the source of various degenerative diseases," he said.
Brands of soy sauce, fish sauce and ketchup would also be tested in the succeeding weeks, the agencies earlier said.
- report from Apples Jalandoni, ABS-CBN News