A factory masquerading as a legitimate tahini-making business was discovered and subsequently shut down by authorities in Giza, Egypt, for using a peculiar and honestly rather quite alarming ingredient to bulk up their paste.
Following a growing general concern that the ongoing hike in food prices may lead to some dishonest dealings, coupled with a useful tip-off, it was recently revealed that Egypt’s ultimate go-to dressing is indeed suffering from such corner-cutting practices, with one company substituting the relatively pricey base ingredient of the sauce, namely sesame seeds, with ceramic powder.
In a recent video shared by local authorities on social media, footage uncovered a disturbing reality that showed some of the stocks that were used to produce the controversial tahini. Shockingly, the operation revealed that the factory, which went by the name al-Rashid Tahini, had five tons of ceramic powder, five tons of crushed peanut skin, two tons of sesame seeds, and 200 kg of vegetable oil, to manufacture the topping at the lowest possible cost.
Part of a broader crackdown on unlicensed and illegal businesses by Major General Ahmed Rashid, the Governor of Giza, the factory owner, who operated out of a small village, was arrested and prosecution has been taken against him.
The discovery of the ceramic-laced tahini has sparked outrage among Egyptians, who consider the condiment a staple in their diet. Consumers are now questioning the safety and quality of food products available on markets, demanding stricter regulations to be enforced and regular inspections to be undertaken. The unusual incident highlights the need for greater vigilance and transparency within the food industry, especially given the urgency due to worldwide inflation rates and global warming, making many resort to subaltern methods to cut as many costs as possible.
The authorities have promised to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the case to identify any other individuals or entities involved in similar activities, serving as a warning to those that may be considering resembling tactics to maximize profits at the expense of public health.