11 July 2024

The Foundation for Consumers has cautioned the public about drinking bubble milk tea because some brands have an excessive sugar content and there is a preservative in the tapioca pearls, one of the ingredients of the popular beverage.

The foundation’s secretary-general, Ms. Saree Ongsomwang, said Thursday that the foundation sampled 25 brands of bubble milk tea to determine the sugar, heavy metal and preservative content, specifically Benzoic and Sorbic acids.

The brands tested were KOI The, Mister Donut, Nobicha, Brown Café & Eatery, BRIX Desert Bar, ATM, Fire Tiger, TEA G5, JIN, Mr Shake, Cha..Ma, Nomi Mono, Chamuku, Monkey Shake, MOMA’s Bubble Tea Bar, The ALLEY, KAMU, Tea Story, Ochaya, Fuku MATCHA, DAKASI tea, Formosa, Nuu tea, Brown Bubble and CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice.

The ALLEY was found to contain the lowest amount of Benzoic and Sorbic acids with 58.39 mg/kg. The brand with the highest amount of preservatives is BRIX Desert Bar with 551.09 mg/kg, but it is still below standard limit.  All 25 brands were not contaminated with heavy metals.

Ms. Saree said that some of the brands contain almost 19 teaspoons of sugar, which is too much and she said she would like consumers to think before consuming iced bubble milk tea.

She also asked the bubble tea producers to specify clearly the amounts of individual ingredients in their products on the label, in accordance with the announcement of the Office of Food and Drug Administration.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Manthana Chawannakul, a dentist and deputy manager of the Children’s Network Against Sweets, recommended that children avoid bubble milk tea because of its high sugar content.

Bubble milk tea is a consumer favourite. Bubble milk tea shops, kiosks and trolleys can be found in every corner of retail shopping complexes, office buildings, train stations, hospitals, universities and business areas. Bubble milk tea is also offered at major beverage and restaurant chains.

Thailand’s market for bubble milk tea is estimated to be worth 2.5 billion baht a year.