Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 1:
The State Public Health Laboratory is learnt to have submitted a report to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) about the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) beyond the permissible limit in noodles of three different brands available in the Odisha market, including Top Ramen.
However, the authorities remained tight-lipped on this.
“Till we receive the report on lead content in the samples, we cannot comment on anything,” a top official said.
In the first week of June this year, the state government had banned the sale of Maggi noodles on the basis of laboratory test report, which confirmed the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) content beyond permissible limit.
At a time when Top Ramen has recalled its products from the market across the country on the directives of food safety regulator (FSSAI), it is beyond comprehension why the state government has shown laxity in banning the three noodle brands as it is learnt that the State Public Health Laboratory has already submitted its report to the former on presence of MSG beyond permissible limits in these brands.
According to sources, three noodle brands sold in Odisha have been found to have excess MSG in it. One of the brands was Top Ramen. Indo Nissin Foods Ltd on Monday announced the withdrawing of its instant noodles brand Top Ramen from the market on the direction of regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
“We have sent sample of noodles of various brands to ascertain the lead content in it to the Central Food Laboratory at Pune, recognised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). We cannot comment on this till we get the report confirming presence of lead in it,” State Food Safety Commissioner, Babaji Charan Das said.
“Maggi noodles were banned for presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) content beyond the permissible limit on the directives of FSSAI. Now, we are giving greater importance on presence on lead in the noodles. However, we haven’t received the report yet from the Central Food Laboratory at Pune on the presence of lead in Maggi noodles. The laboratory authorities have informed the state government that the report will be delayed as it is receiving samples from all over the country,” Das added.
However, he parried questions on the report on the presence of MSG in the noodle brands available in the Odisha market.
Notably, the State Public Health Laboratory has necessary equipment in its lab to test the lead content in the noodles. The Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) available in the lab can test the presence of lead in the noodles. However, the equipment is lying defunct since over last 10 years due to shortage of technicians to operate it.