Nestle contests test methods on Maggi

Noodle in soup: We do not add flavour enhancer, says company

Nestle contests test methods on Maggi

Nestle had contested the food testing methods of the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) contending that inspectors had carried out separate tests on the noodles and the tastemaker.

A team of Nestle officials, during a meeting with the FSSAI on Thursday, insisted that the food safety tests should have been conducted on the cooked noodles “in the form in which it is finally consumed”.

According to the FSSAI order, Nestle had also challenged the tests carried out by CFL, Kolkata, on the cooked noodles. It contended that the results showed a very high level of lead because the samples remained open for a considerable period before being tested.

However, the FSSAI argued that since the company manufactures the noodles and tastemaker and markets the same in two separate packages, the prescribed standards required to be applied to each of these components independently.

The prescribed standards “have no linkage with the processing of the end product as it is consumed”, the food safety regulator argued.

The FSSAI did not buy Nestle’s argument that the “No added MSG” on the label was on account of lack of clarity in the regulation.

“We have been declaring ‘No Added MSG’ on Maggie Noodle Packs as we do not add MSG (flavour enhancer – E621) as an additive in the product,” Nestle argued.

Citing Food Safety Standards Rules, the FSSAI wondered why the company was making this assertion when it was not required to do so.

The regulator said the ‘No added MSG’ label was to derive undue commercial advantage/benefit to create an erroneous impression regarding the character of the product.

The most serious violation, according to the FSSAI, was the release of ‘Maggi Oats Masala Noodles’ without seeking product approval from the regulator.

The FSSAI rejected Nestle’s argument that the product was launched when the regulator advisory was under a stay granted by the court.

The regulator said it had sought certain clarifications regarding safety and risk assessment on the application by Nestle for the oats variant of the noodles.

“The company did not respond to the clarifications within the prescribed time, and as such the application already stands ordered to be closed being non-responsive,” the FSSAI said in its order.

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