Lucknow/Kolkata: Samples of 2-Minute Maggi Noodles collected by FSDA Lucknow have been found to contain Lead (Pb) and Monosodium glutamate (MSG) much more than permissible limits. These harmful chemicals can excessively damage human nervous system when consumed for longer period. These are also found to cause headaches, nausea, weakness in short-term.
According to a report in Times of India, this was first discovered by Food Safety and Drug Administration in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The samples were tested in Kolkata and the results were found to be positive.
“We have tested Maggi samples at Kolkata’s referral laboratory. The test results show that there are added monosodium glutamate and excess of lead. We have ordered further sampling,” FSDA Assistant Commissioner Vijay Bahadur Yadav was quoted saying in Times of India.
The Test results showed that 2-Minutes Maggi Noodles contained 17 parts per million (PPM) of Lead (Pb), whereas the permissible limit was merely 0.01ppm.
However, Nestle, which makes 2-Minute Maggi Noodles, has refuted these allegations. It claims that the lead content in Noodles is negligible and less than 1 % of the fixed limit. It also says that it does not add any quantity of MSG to instant noodles and if present, it might have come from naturally occurring sources. The company further alleged that Indian Regulators have not specified any limits for MSG to be included in Food products.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Regulator, Lucknow is contemplating action against Nestle, which may include banning the sale of its Instant Noodles branded as 2-Minute Noodles . An enquiry has been ordered by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in New Delhi and the Regulators in other states have also been asked to sample the product and get it tested in laboratories.
Lead (Pb) is a highly poisonous metal (whether inhaled or swallowed), affecting almost every organ and system in the body. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children. Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. Lead Poisoning symptoms include abdominal pain, confusion, headache, anemia, irritability, and in severe cases seizures, coma, and death.
MSG is used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer with an umami taste that intensifies the meaty, savory flavor of food. Any large doses of MSG can cause headaches and other feelings of discomfort collectively known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.
In India Maggi 2-Minutes noodles are very popular. Nestle has a whooping 60% share in Indian market. Maggi instant noodles have been advertised as 2 minute noodles since 1982.