The National Standards on “Tea Beverages” are executed officially on November 1st, 2008. However, no matter the milk tea chain stores on the street, or the branded milk teas sold at the supermarket are all shown different level of non-compliance with the national standards, which have caused misunderstanding among consumers.
The National Authorized Institution have selected samples from the market, the results show that the qualities of the tea beverages in the market vary largely. The names and the labels are not standardized. Some tea beverages use the name of tea, while they do not contain the health ingredient of the tea – tea polyphenols, instead, they are only added tea flavored additive. After visiting many supermarkets in the provinces, it finds that many tea beverages only labeled vaguely that they contain green tea or black tea. There is no clear indication of specific ingredient. You cannot even find the world “tea polyphenols” on the list of ingredients on the tea beverage. Some of the packages only indicates they are mixed beverage that added honeysuckle, chrysanthemum, lotus leaf, barley and other ingredients. The Lipton tea from Unilever also did not indicate the amount or the percentage of the protein and other nutritious ingredients contained in the beverage. However, in the tea beverages national standards, it has clearly stated that the percentage of contained protein has to be not less than 0.5%. Also, it has to indicate the protein amount on the label.
According to the new National Standards, the tea beverage includes three categories – tea drinks, flavored tea drinks, complex (hybrid) tea drinks. For tea beverage, the amount of tea polyphenols has to exceed 300 mg per each kilogram. The tea polyphenols contained in the green tea has to exceed 500 mg per each kilogram. For carbonated tea beverage, it only requires the polyphenols contained not less than 100 mg per each kilogram. If the tea polyphenols level does not meet the standard, it can only be categorized as tea flavored beverage. Additionally, the “low sugar” products should contain less than 4.5 grams of sugar in every 100 ml. The “sugar free” products should contain less than 0.5% sugar.
According to the related experts, the real tea beverages use the tea extract or a concentrate, made of instant tea. The milk tea chain store on the street are mainly using cream and tea powered mixed with water. In fact, they do not contain any milk or tea. Many consumers think the green tea can help lose weight, therefore, they often drink bottled green tea. However, they fail to notice the sugar level of the bottled green tea. It is suggested that when consumers purchase products, they should read carefully about the product label, and choose the products that suitable for themselves.