A Vietnamese family-run coffee manufacturer based in Dak Nong province has been caught producing coffee made from harmful materials like used batteries, dirt and rock dust, according to Tuoi Tre News.
The facility, owned by Nguyen Thi Loan, was raided by local police and food inspectors on Monday afternoon following tip-offs from residents who were suspicious about the activities at the coffee manufacturer.
According to authorities, 12 tons of the “dirty'” coffee were seized during the raid. Other materials found included 35kg of black powder extracted from used batteries and a bucket of black liquid weighing around 10kg.
The owner told police she would buy rejected coffee beans from other facilities at low prices. The beans would then be ground and mixed with other “ingredients” such as dirt and rock dust. Finally, the mixture would be dyed black.
Loan admitted that her factory has been in operation for years and that she has sold over three tons of her “coffee” on the market this year. Associate Professor Tran Hong Con, a chemistry expert from the Vietnam National University, said the black substance found in D batteries is a toxic chemical called manganese dioxide.
Other heavy metals commonly found in batteries such as lead, mercury, zinc, cadmium and arsenic are also extremely toxic; they can damage one’s brain, kidney, cardiovascular system and fertility if consumed, Tuoi Tre News said.