Detection of monosodium glutamate and lead in excess of the prescribed limit in the noodles denied by Nestle
GN Bureau | June 3, 2015
Maggi noodles are turning out to be noose for brand Nestle. Latest to join the issue is Big Bazaar. The Big Bazaar on Wednesday removed Maggi noodles from its stores. This comes after the Delhi government found samples of the instant noodles unsafe for consumption. Uttar Pradesh and Kerala have already ordered the retailers in their states to take the product off their shelves.
Meanwhile, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked all states to conduct tests on all variants of Maggi noodles, and submit reports in two days (June 5).
Other states which have begun testing of Maggi samples are West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The ban and investigation follows detection of monosodium glutamate and lead in excess of the prescribed limit in the noodles.
However, Nestle India claimed it has got samples tested in an external laboratory as well as in-house and that the product was found "safe to eat".
Last week, a case had been lodged against Nestle India by Uttar Pradesh Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a local court at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh over safety standards of its Maggi, while actors Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta have also been dragged into it for promoting the 'two-minute' noodles.
The entire controversy began when the UP FDA last month asked Nestle India to withdraw a batch of Maggi noodles manufactured in February 2014 after it found high levels of added MSG, a taste enhancer, in the noodles and lead beyond permissible limits.
"What the company had claimed about the absence of MSG in Maggi has found to be incorrect in the test," Barbanki District Food Officer VK Pandey had said. On lead content, he had said, "it has been established in the report that it is beyond the tolerance level of 2.5 parts per million (ppm). It is 17.2 ppm."
Test results in Delhi on Tuesday declared Maggi unsafe for consumption. According to officials, of 13 samples of masala (tastemaker) 10 samples were found unsafe having lead exceeding the prescribed limits. Five samples of masala were also having monosodium glutamate without proper label declaration which is an offence under the category of misbranding, they said.
After the Delhi test results, the Karnataka government ordered random lifting of samples of Maggi noodles from across the state. The Karnataka FDA had concluded on Monday that Maggi was not unsafe. However, it has now asked for re-verification of that result from its Bengaluru labs.
Swiss multinational giant Nestle sells 5.2 billion Maggi noodle packs across the world in 130 countries every year.
Lead in food products may come from the raw materials, including water, flavouring ingredient or packaging. The permissible limit of lead in food products is 2.5 ppm.
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