As well as being accused of employing North Korean workers, Polish company Fructofresh is suspected of using an illegal food additive in their fruit salads. On the 1st February, France forbid Pomona, the French distributor of Fructofresh, to commercialise the Polish company’s fruit salads. A €1,000 fine per day will be applied if the court injunction is not respected.
Christophe Noel, Delifruits’ Lawyer (the French company behind the legal action against Fructofresh), explains that the court decided to go with “precaution” as the case exposes serious doubts on food aimed at human consumption. Delifruits suspects that the factory in Czarnowice adds dimethyldicarbonate (E242), otherwise known under it’s commercial name as Velcorin, to their salads. Not only is the additive prohibited for such a use in the EU, but it is extremely harmful as when in contact with water it creates toxic methanol.
Delifruits were intrigued as to how Fructofresh could sell salads with 14 day use-by dates and “no preservatives”, as no other competing brand could last over 9 days. When they carried out toxicology tests, an unusually high level of methanol was revealed. These findings were convincing enough to open a case and on the 21st December 2016, the Creteil Commercial Court seized buckets of Fructofresh fruit salads from Pomona. Forensic reports confirmed the suspicions as it is unlikely that the methanol is natural (i.e. from the fruits fermenting). Meanwhile, Jean-Christophe André, Fructofresh’s advising Lawyer says “Could the methanol come from Velcorin ? Is it from the fruit itself? The debate has not been settled”. Pomona says they have carried out their own tests and ensures they have found nothing abnormal in their Polish partner’s fruit salads.