No 'ash-content' in Maggi, 100% safe: Nestle India

Nestle shares trade flat on BSE Sensex as allegations of ash in noodles hit

Nestle shares trade flat on BSE Sensex as allegations of ash in noodles hit

The samples were collected late previous year and Rs. 17 lakhs fine has been imposed on three distributors too.

ADM J.K. Sharma, while levying the fines, said that "Ash content in Maggi samples exceeded the prescribed limit of 1 per cent. Maggi is consumed mostly by children and playing with the health of people by providing sub-standard products is something that can not be pardoned".

Shahjahanpur District Administration has imposed a fine of Rs. 45 lakh in this regard against the Swiss multinational food and beverage company. While we have not yet received the order passed by the Adjudication Officer, we understand from the information available that the relevant samples are of the year 2015 and the issue pertains to "Ash content".

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Nestle said it would file an appeal once it receives the order.

In June 2015, Nestle India was forced to withdraw the noodle product from the market following a ban by the FSSAI for allegedly containing lead beyond permissible limits. Then, too, it was an Uttar Pradesh lab that first brought bad news, though it was one operated by the state's Food Safety and Drug Administration.

Production began after the ban was relaxed later that year. Now, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has laid standards for Instant Noodles, Pasta and Seasoning. Ash percentage of 2.60 per cent was found in the tastemaker of Maggi Atta noodles and Maggi Pazzta samples were found to have ash percentage of 1.2.

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With Maggi accounting for nearly 25% of Nestle India's annual sales back then, this was a huge blow to the Swiss company. And slowly but steadily, it managed to claw its way back onto market shelves, backed by extensive marketing campaigns and over two dozen product launches.

The 2015 episode pushed Nestlé India and other makers of packaged noodles to seek standards specific for instant noodles in India. After the laboratory report was released in 2016, seven cases were lodged at the additional district magistrate's court.

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