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Adulterated palm sugar facilities face closure

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times Share:
Authorities inspect a palm sugar plant. Supplied

Officials from the government’s CamControl inspection department have requested the closure of 25 palm sugar production facilities in Takeo province.

The factories, in Takeo’s Bati district, were found to be producing adulterated sugar.

Por Leang Kong, head of CamControl in Takeo, said Bati district was the only place where palm sugar was produced in the province.

“We asked the provincial governor to shut down all palm sugar production facilities after our officials found palm sugar adulterated with vegetable oil, water, other sugar and unknown powder,” he said.

“Not one of the facilities was producing pure palm sugar. The adulterated sugar was being sold at markets throughout Phnom Penh and Kandal province. Between them, the facilities were able to produce about 10 tonnes of palm sugar each day.”

Mr Leang Kong said raids of the facilities were a collaboration between the provincial commerce department and health inspectors, following complaints made by local residents.

Drums full of the adulterated palm sugar. Supplied

He said the sugar was being adulterated to increase its weight for sale at markets.

Officials were also concerned about the cleanliness of the fuel used for the machinery in the facilities, he added.

“Hygiene levels in the facilities were very poor. The low-quality sugar they produce could be harmful to people’s health when consumed,” Mr Leang Kong said.

CamControl officials in the province meanwhile seized more than 80 kilos of noodles contaminated with the prohibited substance borax.

Borax, also known as sodium tetraborate, is a chemical agent commonly used to improve elasticity, but can be harmful to health when consumed.       

“We seized the contaminated noodles and borax from producers at four noodle facilities,” Mr Leang Kong said.

Earlier this year, two noodle production facilities in Siem Reap province were shut down for using borax.

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