The scandal around instant noodles manufactured by the Jin Mai Lang Food and sold across Mainland China as well as South East Asia, broke last week under a slew of inspections by a local watchdog.
Last week, the Henan Administration for Industry and Commerce revealed that it had found several batches of instant noodle products made by Jin Mai to have an excessive acid value in its routine spot checks.
The regulator revealed that among the brands that were found to be acidic included the top-selling Jin Ye Noodle and One Yuan Instant Noodle, both of which are also exported.
Acid value is a common parameter in the specification of fats and oils and a low acid value indicates better food quality. A high acid value, as per food norms in most countries, can cause gastrointestinal as well as diarrhea or liver issues.
While no one is commenting on how this violation occurred, Chinese language blogs on food safety have said that such high acid value occurs when manufacturers do not replace their frying oil for a long time.
As per local media reports, including the state agency Xinhua, the Henan Administration for Industry and Commerce sent a report to Jin Mai on the findings, as well an order for a fine, which the noodle maker accepted.
Since then however Jin Mai has gone on the offensive against the findings. In a statement posted in Chinese on its site, the company has said that it has set up an internal committee to investigate the issue, without mention of the penalty.
Also, the company is petitioning the regulators, both local and national, to reevaluate its instant noodle products. The company is trying to resubmit its products to the agencies and it would announce any developments on this front on its website.
FoodNavigator-Asia reached the marketing department of Jin Mai, where an official, who refused to disclose his name, repeated that the products were being sent for re-evaluation and that the company did not want to talk to the media at this time. “Please check the website for updates,” he said.
FoodNavigator-Asia also contacted the Henan Administration for Industry and Commerce, but there was no bilingual official in their ranks.