Haw flakes (Chinese: 山楂餅; pinyin: shānzhā bǐng) are Chinese sweets made from the fruit of the Chinese hawthorn. The dark pink/ purple candy is usually formed into discs two millimeters thick, and packaged in cylindrical stacks with label art resemblant of Chinese fireworks. Some Chinese people take the flakes with bitter Chinese herbal medicine.
|Alternative names||Shān Zhā Bǐng|
|Place of origin||China|
|Main ingredients||Chinese hawthorn fruit, sugar|
Gourmet haw flakes are also available at specialty Chinese markets. Gourmet haw flakes tend to be larger than the Shandong haw flakes (gourmet haw flakes are about 35–40 mm in diameter where as the Shandong haw flakes are about 25 mm in diameter.)
Haw flakes have been seized on several occasions by the United States Food and Drug Administration for containing Ponceau 4R (E124, Acid Red 18), an unapproved artificial coloring. Ponceau 4R is used in Europe, Asia and Australia but is not approved by the US FDA.
Currently, Haw flakes contain Allura Red AC (FD& C #40) as the red coloring. In Europe, Allura Red AC is not recommended for consumption by children. The food coloring was previously banned in Denmark, Belgium, France and Switzerland.
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