Tiger Sugar in S’pore doesn’t use ‘colouring matter’ for signature brown sugar syrup

Ingredients tested by AVA.

Belmont Lay | January 13, 01:47 pm

Taiwanese bubble tea brand Tiger Sugar in Singapore has come out to allay consumer concerns with a clarification.

This was after allegations from more than half a year ago about ingredients used in the drinks available in Taiwan have found some currency in Singapore in January 2019.

What is the issue?

Clover Lifestyle, the local franchisee that brought Tiger Sugar into Singapore, has clarified that a new formula for the drinks had been implemented since July 2018.

This was after reports in Taiwan during that period alleged that caramel colouring is an ingredient used in Tiger Sugar’s popular Brown Sugar Boba Milk and that brown sugar is not the only ingredient.

No colouring matter

The brown sugar syrup currently used in Tiger Sugar’s outlets in Singapore does not contain any “added colouring matter” nor heavy metal, and has undergone testing by the Agi-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), Clover Lifestyle’s managing director, Trevor Fong, told AsiaOne.

Tiger Sugar currently has three stores in Singapore at Capitol Piazza, Chinatown Point, and the latest at Paragon.

What Taiwanese report said

According to a EBC News interview in Mandarin with an unnamed Tiger Sugar ex-employee in Taiwan, the allegation was that Tiger Sugar makes its popular Brown Sugar Boba Milk with a “brown sugar concentrated syrup” and not pure brown sugar.

The ex-employee alleged that

• buckets of brown sugar concentrated syrup gets delivered to the company weekly,

• where one of the ingredients used in it is caramel colouring

• and the taste of brown sugar concentrated syrup is not the same as real brown sugar.

“The smell and taste of the brown sugar concentrated syrup is very different from the true flavour you get if you slow cook the brown sugar,” she said.

“The one Tiger Sugar uses tastes slightly sour.”

Tiger Sugar response in Taiwan

Responding to the allegations, a representative of Tiger Sugar in Taiwan then admitted that the brown sugar they use is not 100 percent brown sugar, and it is also not handmade as widely believed.

The representative was quoted as saying: “One of our ingredients is brown sugar. Our supplier adds the caramel colouring to it.”

However, the representative also insisted measures were taken to adhere to regulations: “We have followed the stipulation of listing all our ingredients and have passed all kinds of food testing — it’s all legal.”

And the reason the signature brown sugar is no longer handmade is due to the large quantity required, resulting in it being factory-made, the representative also said.

About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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