By NATION REPORTER
TEMPERS are flaring up over Blue Band margarine that is not melting under any condition but is being sold as bread spread.
Following a video that went viral, the Daily Nation bought the margarine and subjected it to heat test and it never melted.
The margarine was then subjected to further tests in whisky and lager beverages, but still it did not melt.
The video of Blue Band margarine failing to melt in boiling water has caused consternation and anxiety among consumers with some readers calling for its ban until investigations of the product’s efficacy were carried out.
The video, produced by a concerned Lusaka resident, shows two scoops of Blue Band margarine being put in boiling water and not melting.
The woman behind the video explains that she bought the Blue Band from Pick n Pay, in Lusaka’s Woodlands shopping mall and was shocked to discover that the product could not melt even under extreme heat and wondered what people were consuming.
Not only did the margarine resist the heat, it appeared it could not melt under extreme heat.
And Zambia Republic Party leader, Wright Musoma, has demanded a thorough probe of all imports that may have an adverse effect on the health of Zambians.
“This product should be temporarily banned until the nation knows its contents and why it cannot melt even in extremely high temperatures,” said Mr Musoma
He complained that the nation was being subjected to suspicious imports because authorities responsible for checking, were not doing their job.
“As a party, we are shocked and perturbed at what we have witnessed, that a product we have been using for a long time cannot melt is frightening. Now the question is, what have we been eating?” Mr Musoma asked.
He accused the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) of not doing enough to safeguard local interests against potentially harmful imports.
“There was the issue of fake mineral water not too long ago. Someone was packaging water illegally and passing if off as mineral water under a respected brand. It is shocking what we are being subjected to as consumers,” Mr Musoma said.
He also said this was a wake up call for authorities to be proactive in investigating food imports. “That is why we are having strange diseases,” he observed.
Unilever, the manufacturers of Blue Band Margarine, in a statement on their website, maintained that the company remained committed to the highest standard of manufacturing process, marketing and sales.
According to the statement, the Blue Band Spread for bread is a delicate and sensitive low fat product and that to withstand the high temperatures, harsh distribution conditions experience locally and the export markets to ensure it remained stable throughout its shelf life, it needed extra ingredients.
“We use emulsifiers made from vegetable oils, which help to bind the low fat, water and constituents together to prevent separation,
“As a result Blue Band spread for bread is very stable and does not easily melt at high temperatures,”