Algeria-No less than 84% of national brands of coffee are not in conformity with the standards required by legislation, said Saturday the president of the Algerian Organization for the protection and orientation of the consumer and its environment (APOCE) , Mustapha Zebdi.
Submitted by APOCE to three different Algerian laboratories, the analyzes looked at the additional sugar content in coffee and its regulatory labeling for twelve locally produced coffee brands, Zebdi told a conference press.
Thus, the lack of conformity concerns either the high sugar rate or the non-compliance with the mention of the added substances and their rates on the packaging as required by the Executive Decree of February 2017 fixing the characteristics of coffee as well as that the conditions and methods of its release for consumption.
Under section 19 of the Act, producers who incorporate sugar, caramel or starch during the roasting process must legibly, visibly and indelibly indicate the name "roasted coffee with sugar" or "ground coffee roasted with sugar".
The decree also specifies the rate of additional material must not exceed 3% of the final product. The results of the analyzes showed that among the 12 brands, five (5) contained a "satisfactory" level of sugar from the health point of view (-3%), five others were described as "acceptable" (around 3%) and two (2) were cited as "deception" (10% and 14%).
Thus, Mr. Zebdi called on the owners of the two brands, among the most traded on the national market, to comply with the legislation, failing to mention their names in future APOCE analyzes.
"During the next three (3) months, we will repeat these analyzes and we will name the two brands that do not respect the regulations so that they do not poison the Algerian citizen," said the president of the APOCE.
According to the same official, additional substances added may contain acrylamide, a substance considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as posing a risk to human health.
"Burning sugar produces acrylamide, which is carcinogenic when it is consumed at a certain rate," says Zebdi adding that this material is also present in crisps and grilled meat in particular.
To prevent additional excesses in coffee roasting, Mr. Zebdi called for the cancellation of the February 2017 Executive Decree which, with the authorization of additional materials in coffee production, left "a great legal vacuum. "
He explained that these excesses are permitted because of the difficulty for national laboratories to assess the level of acrylamide in coffee.