Consumers have again been warned to be vigilant when grocery shopping after a well-known powdered product in Surabaya was found to be counterfeit.
The Cap Dua Lombok brand, which has been sold on the market for a decade, was the subject of an investigation of the Food Unit of the Criminal Investigation Task Force following reports.
Djefry Amanta, the 44-year-old business owner, mixed mixed powdered pepper with encrusted rice powder.
“To promote their product, producers sell at the normal, average price. This deceives customers,” said Shinto Silitonga, Head of Surabaya’s Criminal Investigation Task Force.
Silitonga added the chilli powder had been sold at Pasar Pabean and Pasar Keputran, priced at around Rp.15,000 (US$1.12).
“The industry can produce up to 30 kilograms of fake peppers a day. That makes it 2.5 tonnes a month,” he added.
Counterfeit products like these dodge requirements issued by the National Food and Drug Agency, Silitonga added. Amanta faces charges under consumer protection laws.
Cases of counterfeit or tampered food are common across Indonesia, with consumers warned to be wary. A recent case in Cirebon saw a similar concotion of powedered peppers mixed with encrusted rice waste powder, rotten chillis and expired spices. The operation had been running for over a year and is believed to have produced up to a tonne of fake pepper each fortnight to be sold across Java.
A similar case in Sukoharjo alarmed authorities after pepper powder was mixed with white cement. Even in low doses, human consumption of cement is dangerous to consumers.
Potential buyers are advised to inspect physical products and stick with trusted vendors.
Image credits: StyleCraze