Alleged fake eggs seized in S. China

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Some 48 boxes of suspected artificial eggs have been confiscated by the quality watchdog in the city of Leizhou in southern China's Guangdong Province after local restaurants were reported to sell eggs with rubber-like yolks.

The eggs, bought from northern China's Hebei Province, were barely edible and tasted like a rubber ball. Indeed the "yolks" could be bounced off the floor to 40 centimeters high, Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday.

Samples are awaiting exams, Leizhou Industry and Commerce Administration said.

More than 20 journalists dined in a local hotel restaurant and realized the steamed eggs were problematic. "They tasted like plastic," one said.

"You will be served the same eggs in every one of the restaurants in Leizhou," said a restaurant manager surnamed Chen.

Fake eggs cropped up a few years ago in some poor regions of northern and central China, and soon spread across the nation. Probes showed that fake eggs were made from industrial and commercial chemicals including alginic acid, calcium chloride and calcium carbonate. Long-term consumption of fake eggs can lead to memory loss or dementia, experts told the Labor Daily.

A worker can make 300 fake eggs per hour in a small room, and each kilogram sells for 1.2 yuan (19 US cents).

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