ECONOMYNEXT- A product pretending to be Japanese sake has entered the Sri Lankan market, while synthetic toddy continues to be popular, a top official from the country’s largest brewery Lion Brewery Ceylon Plc said.
"In recent times, a product pretending to be a sake has been introduced to the chief executive Suresh Shah told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.
Although the traditional Japanese alcoholic drink sake is described as a ‘rice wine’ it is brewed akin to beer.
"The term sake can be used only if this very specific process is followed," Shah said.
"We trust that the regulator has ensured the correct process being used prior to approving the product for sale," he said.
He said the product imitates a beer but has an alcoholic content of 12.5 percent.
Usually sake has an alcoholic volume of 15-16 percent.
Shah said beer is restricted to an alcohol content of 8.8 percent, with a tax of 600 rupees per litre, which the sake product is enjoying, instead of the higher 2,700 rupees a litre it should be charged.
Meanwhile, he said that synthetic toddy continues to be popular in the local market, despite communicating of the substances over the past several years.
"The Excise Ordnance defines toddy as “fermented or unfermented juice drawn from any coconut, palmyra, kittul or other kind of palm tree," Shah said.
"Today’s toddy is an artificial concoction which is said to be made from a substance known as ‘Ceylon Paste’."
"Apparently, synthetic urea is also used in the production of toddy."
"Regulators – who are required to be on site at production facilities on a 24/7 basis – are turning a “Nelsonian” eye on these practices for reasons best known to them." (Colombo/Jun29/2019)