A trade watchdog in China has detected a cancer-causing industrial dye in chili paste and red chili power products.
Several supermarkets and factories in Hunan province have been punished for selling and producing the products dyed with chemical compound Rhodamine B, a banned food additive.
The Changsha Industrial and Commercial Bureau revoked the license of a company while a dealer was fined tens of thousands of yuan, the Shanghai Daily reported Saturday.
Hunan cuisine is known for being dry-hot, as distinct from the numbing-hot flavors of Sichuan cuisine. However, both provinces have been hit by the dyed pepper scandal.
Rhodamine B was first detected in hotpot seasonings in Chongqing in March 2011.