China's commerce ministry announced on Thursday that it has launched an investigation into imports of Indian tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a type of food preservative.
The ministry has received requests from domestic TBHQ producers, accusing Indian manufacturers of dumping the product on the Chinese market and calling for an inquiry, Xinhua reported.
The ministry will look into whether Indian companies have sold TBHQ at an artificially low price in China and any consequences that the action may have brought to Chinese businesses.
The investigation is expected to take at least a year, and may be extended till February 2015.
TBHQ is an aromatic organic compound widely used in the food industry as an antioxidant in vegetable oils, many edible animal fats, roasted food, fried food and other meat products.
It is also used as a stabiliser for insecticides, as well as an intermediate for dyes and pharmaceuticals.