Vietnamese authorities caught a family-operated coffee manufacturer in Dak Nong province producing a coffee mixed with noxious ingredients such as batteries, dirt and rock dust.
Dak Nong police and food inspectors from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment raided the facility, owned by Nguyen Thi Loan, a resident in Dak Wek Commune in the Dak R’Lap district. According to Tuoi Tre News, the authorities received a tip from local citizens about suspicious activities being conducted on the workshop.
Authorities recovered 12 tons of the “dirty” coffee were seized during the raid, including 77 pounds of black powder extracted from D batteries, a bucket of black liquid and two barrels filled with battery shells.
The owner told the police that she would buy rejected coffee beans from other facilities at a discounted price. Then beans will be ground with other materials, such as dirt and rock dust, before dyeing the product with the black powder from the batteries.
According to authorities, Loan admitted that the factory has been running its operation for years and already sold more than three tones of her product this year. Police have taken samples of the coffee for lab tests, Tuoi Tre News said.
Associate Professor Tran Hong Con, a chemistry expert from the Vietnam National University, said revealed that the black substance found in D batteries is a toxic chemical called manganese dioxide. According to Con, the chemical compound is highly oxidant compound and as little as 0.5 milligrams of it mixed in a liter of water could cause manganese poisoning in humans.
Vietnam is among the world’s largest coffee producer including Brazil, Colombia, and Ethiopia. As a matter of fact, as many as 2.6 million people in Vietnam were employed by coffee manufacturers in 2014, reported BBC.
Moreover, the coffee production across the country grew around 20 to 30 percent each year during the 1990s, said Newsweek.
Watch the video below:
Source: The Strait Times