Saturday, August 19, 2017

Officials inspect Mandalay bamboo-shoot producers

Authorities visited bamboo-shoot businesses in Mandalay city to try to educate them about the harmful effects of banned chemical dyes on human health.

Officials visit bamboo-shoot businesses on Pyin Oo Lwin road in Mandalay. Si Thu Lwin/The Myanmar TimesOfficials visit bamboo-shoot businesses on Pyin Oo Lwin road in Mandalay. Si Thu Lwin/The Myanmar Times

The inspections were conducted on August 8 and 9 by the Mandalay City Development Committee’s (MCDC) Markets Department in cooperation with the Mandalay Food and Drug Administration, the Mogok township health organisation and Mogok Development Committee.

Representatives of the Mandalay FDA and city bamboo-shoot businesses met on August 3, and the businesses promised to sell bamboo shoots free of dye.

Dr. Kyaw Kyaw, Mandalay FDA deputy director, said, “The bamboo-shoot businesses along Mandalay-Mogok road told us that most of them boil bamboo shoots naturally and then send them to wholesalers. There are a few dyed bamboo shoots, but the amount is insignificant. Some dye bamboo shoots with turmeric, so we brought turmeric to check.”

The inspecting team brought along with them samples of boiled bamboo shoots, raw bamboo shoots, bamboo shoots boiled with turmeric and turmeric to test in the laboratory.

“In the past, we used dye. The merchants give us turmeric powder to make the colour more beautiful, but most of us no longer use turmeric powder and dye,” said a bamboo-shoot business owner in Sein Inn village, Mogok township.

The bamboo shoots from Mogok are made by boiling giant bamboo in salted water so the shoots can be preserved and their colour won’t change. The bamboo shoots from Thabeikkyin township are made from the myay site war variety. When they are boiled, they are wrapped in cloth. After some time, the bamboo turns red naturally, said U Khin Aung, head of MCDC’s Markets Department.

“Myay site war is red at the joints. The giant bamboo does not change colour. We can tell when chemical dye has been used just by looking at the bamboo shoots. If they sell bamboo shoots containing dye, we will close their shop in accordance with municipal law and the National Food Law,” U Khin Aung said.

Eating bamboo shoots can help in weight loss, improve heart function and balance cholesterol. It can also prevent cancer, ease bowel movements and prevent hypertension because the vegetable contains potassium, according to Dr Kyaw Kyaw.