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Indian court fines Nestle over excess ash content in Maggi noodles

FBR Staff Writer Published 30 November 2017

A district court in India has ordered Nestle India to pay a fine of around $70,000 after a lab report found excessive ash content in samples of Maggi noodles.

The samples that were tested were collected in 2015 by the Shahjanhanpur district administration in Uttar Pradesh.

In 2016, a Lucknow-based laboratory released reports of the samples which revealed that the ash content in Maggi noodles was more than the permissible limits.

It led to the filing of multiple cases against Nestle India at the additional district magistrate’s court.

According to PTI, Nestle India has been imposed a fine of INR45lakh ($70,000) by the additional district magistrate of Shahjanhanpur. Three of its distributors have been fined INR15lakh ($23,280) while two retailers have been fined INR11lakh ($17072) by the court.

In May 2015, the Indian food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ordered recall of Maggi noodles from the retail markets. Subsequently Maggi noodles range was banned in India on grounds that it had higher content of lead and monosodium glutamate.

Maggi noodles were back in the market by the end of 2015, after addressing the concerns related to some of its ingredients.

On the latest court controversy, Nestle India has denied that there is any ash content in its Maggi noodles range while calling the products to be 100% safe to consume. It also added that the samples in question were from 2015 and not from the current lots.

A Nestle India spokesperson has been quoted in various media publications to have said: “It is a case of applying standards basis an old advisory issued in 2015. Now, FSSAI has laid standards for Instant Noodles, Pasta and Seasoning. MAGGI noodles are fully compliant with this.

“While we have not yet received the order passed by the Adjudication Officer, we understand from the information available that the relevant samples are of the year 2015 and the issue pertains to “Ash content”.

Recently, Nestle India launched a new line of noodles under the Maggi brand, in a move to make them more nutritious and healthier.

The new range, dubbed Maggi Nutri-Licious noodles, has four flavors in Atta Masala, Oats Masala, Atta Mexicana and Oats Herbs & Spices.

Image: Nestlé Quality Assurance Centre in Moga, India. Photo: courtesy of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.