Nestlé India to destroy Maggi noodles worth $50m

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé India said the final figure will be confirmed at a later date
Nestlé India said the final figure will be confirmed at a later date

Related tags: Monosodium glutamate

Nestlé India is destroying Maggi noodles worth an estimated Rs 320 crore (US$50m, €45m) which is stock withdrawn from the market.

The noodles were banned by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for exceeding permitted lead levels and containing monosodium glutamate (MSG) not mentioned in the ingredient panel but Nestlé India has insisted they are safe.

The firm said the estimated sales value of the stock in the market, including those with trade partners, is around INR 210 Crores (2.1 billion rupees).

Withdraw and destroy

Nestlé India said there were Maggi noodles and related materials in factories and distribution centres when the withdrawal was announced.

The estimated value of these is around INR 110 Crores (1.1 billion rupees).

“These are broad estimates because it is impossible to calculate the final figure while the withdrawal is taking place,” ​it said in a statement.

“There will be additional costs to take into account, for example bringing stock from the market, transporting the stock to the destruction points, destruction cost etc. The final figure will have to be confirmed at a later date.”

Nestlé India challenged the ban in Bombay High Court last week – the court ruled the ban would stay for now and set a new hearing for June 30.

FSSAI said lead was found in excess of maximum permissible levels of 2.5ppm from samples by Utter Pradesh and CFL, Kolkata found presence at 17.2ppm.

Nestlé India exports the noodles to the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore and Kenya. Canada, USA and the UK are investigating the concerns while Singapore has cleared the product.

Unilever market withdrawal

Meanwhile, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is withdrawing its Chinese instant noodles from the market in India.

HUL submitted an application with FSSAI for product approval for the Knorr Chinese range of instant noodles in February 2015, which is pending approval.

It has stopped production and sale of its Chinese range of instant noodles till the application is approved to conform to an FSSAI advisory to State FDAs with regard to product approvals.

The firm said additional testing of its noodles from an external FSSAI approved laboratory show the Chinese noodles are safe for consumption and continue to meet all regulatory norms.

HUL said the discontinuance of manufacturing and sale of Chinese instant noodles is not due to any safety or quality concerns.

“The product is absolutely safe and only reason for withdrawal is that product approval is pending with FSSAI since February 2015.

“We are engaging with the food regulatory authorities. As soon as we receive the product approval, our range will be back on the shelf. 

“Knorr Soupy Noodles will continue to be sold and will not be withdrawn as it is a standardised product under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.”

Related topics: Markets, Food safety, South Asia

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