Much has been said about tea-whiteners in Pakistan recently. An excess of misinformed allegations and rumors gave rise to a lot of serious misunderstandings about tea-whiteners and their usage.
Wajahat Saeed Khan, a renowned journalist and media personality took the matter into his own hands and decided to find answers to all of our questions that we would like honest responses to.
Many pressing questions are addressed, some of which include:
- ‘Are tea-whiteners in any way harmful for human consumption?’,
- ‘Did the Pakistani media conduct enough background research before accusing tea-whitener brands?’
- ‘Has the government done their job of discerning truth and facts from mere speculation?’
The 16 minute documentary, which can be viewed here, features Wajahat on his quest of finding facts and separating them from fabrications. The journey begins at Engro Foods’ production plant in Sahiwal to understand how the tea-whitener is produced and what goes into making it. In the process Wajahat probes the team at the plant to get to the bottom of how checks and balances are put into place, and how quality is maintained.
Below are some important findings:
- Tarang, a tea-whitener is specifically designed to add great taste to your cup of tea, is made with highest quality ingredients from the best local and international sources. It contains absolutely no harmful chemicals or additives and is completely free of any preservatives. It is UHT treated and aseptically packaged keeping harmful microorganisms out of the product and giving it longer shelf-life. Any tea-whitener is not a milk substitute (Tarang has never claimed to be a milk substitute). You should continue consuming nutritional dairy products for a healthy lifestyle.
- The tea-whitener is produced while strictly adhering to international and local industry standards. It is not only approved and certified by Pakistan’s highest national standards body, the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), Tarang also holds the following international certifications: British Retail Consortium certification (BRC); FSMS / ISO 22000 – Food Safety Certification; and ISO – 9001 Quality Management System.
- The tea-whitener’s recipe was formulated by experts from Royal Friesland Campina, after thorough research and deep understanding of Pakistani consumers’ tastes and preferences. Royal Friesland Campina is one of the largest dairy companies in the world, with 140 years of dairy expertise.
- The Supreme Court of Pakistan has certified Tarang along with some other brands safe to be consumed. Various government officials from multiple regulatory bodies and other health professionals all endorse Tarang and its quality, confirming that the tea-whitener follows all required standards, has no harmful ingredients and is completely safe to consume.
While it is the responsibility of food regulatory authorities to hold brands and products accountable, the issue of tea-whiteners and packaged milk was blown out of proportion without having conducted necessary background research.
Both the government and the media have an obligation towards the consumers to share reliable and trustworthy information. Propagating rumors and falsehoods hurts not only an entire industry but also the end-consumers.