Food & Wine

Yogurt made from old shoes? Latest food scandal in China

Updated: 10 Apr 2012
Share this news?...Click box   Bookmark and Share


CONCERN over what goes into the thicker yogurt that is rising in popularity in China spread like wildfire across the Internet yesterday after a TV anchorman said on his microblog: "never eat any solid yogurt."

Solid yogurt is the more common variety found in Western countries.


Zhao Pu, an anchorman with China Central Television, said on his weibo microblog that he received a text message from a colleague who is investigating the industry, saying: " You never eat solid yogurt or jelly ever again, especially the kids. The inside story is horrible, but I won't go into details."

Another journalist, Zhu Wenqiang of The Economic Observer, said on his microblog that a "CCTV buddy" had told him: "Maybe the pair of leather shoes you throw in the trash will end up in the yogurt you eat later."

Both posts aroused widespread concern, but no further details emerged. Both posts were deleted later yesterday.

Posters fear that industrial gelatin is being used to make the much-hyped solid yogurt.


Scrap leather is the main material used for making industrial gelatin



The industrial gelatin looks clean and beautiful


They recalled instances of industrial gelatin being used in food production in recent years. In 2009, Zhejiang Province quality watchdogs cracked down on a Chenyuan Dairy Co Ltd plant, where the company was found to be making waste leather into gelatin and adding it to its dairy products.

In Shandong Province, the same illegal activity was uncovered in several food plants.

Many posters said the current worry was "believable" because of the earlier cases.

"I don't trust the manufacturers or governments' supervision," said one weibo poster.

"Once such cases existed and there should be persuasive reasons given to me that they are now gone."

Although dairy manufacturers often promote the solid yogurt as healthier than the usual variety, the product contains several additives.

For example, the Monmilk solid yogurt made by Mengniu Dairy Co, one of China's major dairies, says on its package that it contains gelatin, agar and pectin, legal additives that help to "set" the yogurt.

Experts say edible gelatin is safe, but it's hard to tell it from the banned industrial gelatin.

"Gelatin is a type of protein," said Dr Fan Zhihong, a nutritionist with the China Agricultural University, "and edible gelatin comes from animal skins, such as pig skins."

Fan said if people don't feel at ease with gelatin, they should eat less jelly, yogurt, ice cream, jelly drops and sausages.

Yili Group, another major Chinese dairy firm that produces the solid yogurt, said that its products were safe, but it was concerned about products produced in small plants.

The Shanghai Food Safety Office said yesterday a recent market inspection showed that dairy products in the city generally were of good quality.




Editorial Message
This site contains materials from other clearly stated media sources for the purpose of discussion stimulation and content enrichment among our members only. does not necessarily endorse their views or the accuracy of their content. For copyright infringement issues please contact
Share this news?...Click box   Bookmark and Share
Comments Area ( Total Comments: 3 )
Mile Commented on 12 Apr 2012
Holy Crap! It's not safe eat in China...
navman Commented on 11 Apr 2012
extra protein... yum!
bluecatx00 Commented on 10 Apr 2012
That's why I make my own yogurt. It's firm because I use full fat milk, add full fat milk powder to it, and incubate it for 12 hours while manufacturers probably do only 2.

You are now in Food