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April 4, 2012

INDIA: Nestle challenges health criticism of noodle line

Nestlé has rejected allegations from India's premier environmental health lobby group that its Maggi instant noodles could harm consumer health.

Nestlé has rejected allegations from India’s premier environmental health lobby group that its Maggi instant noodles could harm consumer health.

Speaking to just-food, a Nestle spokesperson said its Maggi product line is “adapted to Indian tastes and we have been constantly improving its nutritional profile and have reduced salt, reduced trans-fatty acids and added nutrients”.

The spokesperson added: “The balance between protein, carbohydrate and fats is very similar to the recommendations made by Indian Council of Medical Research”.

The company was responding to a report released by India’s Centre of Science and Environment, which claimed convenience food products marketed by major food companies, such as PepsiCo and Nestlé, contain very high levels of trans-fats, salts and sugar – which inevitably lead to severe ill-health and diseases like obesity and diabetes.

It tested 16 major brands of potato crisps including PepsiCo’s Lays, snacks such as Haldiram’s ‘aloo bhujia’ (local potato snack), Maggi and Top Ramen noodles, to reach its conclusions.

Its report also claimed that PepsiCo, Nestlé and Top Ramen producer Nissin, undertake “misinformation, misbranding, wrong labelling and obfuscation” by highlighting the removal of trans fats, saying “tests show that having just one serving of these foods (noodles and chips) completely overturns our daily diet chart” of recommended nutrients.

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