17,March, 2016

Post Nestle’s Maggi fiasco followed by Ramdev’s Pantajali noodles which caused some embarrassing moment to the Government, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is formulating standards for instant noodles to regulate the growing market of the eatable item.

Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO of the top food regulator told The Pioneer on Wednesday that a scientific panel has been set up to prepare the standards for the instant noodles.

He said that the standards were in the final stage and will be released soon. The standards specifies in details like essential ingredients, food additives, parameters of the residual level and testing parameters before giving approval for instant noodles. Presently, as per the FSSAI, noodles come under the ‘pasta’ category.

The standards are likely to be on the line of Codex standards for instant noodles which are being followed by many countries. These Codex does not apply on pasta category.

The framing of the standards were felt after the FSSAI found itself in spot when the Bombay High Court revoked the ban on Maggi noodles clamped by the food regulator. While the FSSAI maintained that the Maggi noodles were found to have toxic contents MSG, the court ordered lifting the ban on the popular instant noodles brand.

November, last year, the FSSAI also locked horns with the yoga guru Baba Ramdev-promoted FMCG venture Patanjali alleging that it had not taken approval or licence for its instant noodles.

However, Patanjali contested saying that they had licence for Pasta in central category from the FSSAI. And since as per the FSSAI, noodles come under the ‘pasta’ category, the Patanjali claimed that the food regulator had given them licence for relabeling in the pasta category.

Based on the licence for pasta category, the company has entered into agreements with various companies that have licences for making noodles, it added.

However, with the standards coming soon, the FSSAI feel that all the issues related to the instant noodles ‘will be resolved soon.”

With the changing lifestyle, in the past few years, market has witnessed a large number of instant noodles from consumer goods giants ITC (Sunfeast Yippee!), Glaxo-Smithkline (Horlicks Foodles), and Hindustan Unilever Limited (Knorr Soupy Noodles) among others vying for space.

Categories: NEWS
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