Mumbai : Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra has claimed that consumption of the infamous MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is not harmful if used in moderation. Further, they added that if the guidelines of US and Indian FDA, World Health Organisation (WHO) are followed, MSG is “generally recognised as safe”.
Results of Maggi noodles from the state are expected by Friday. FDA officers claimed that they are looking for both lead as well as MSG content in Maggi noodles. However, their main focus is on the levels of lead and glutamate content present in Maggi noodles, following which they will take a call on ban of the product in the state.
MSG is a taste enhancer which is widely used in ‘Indian Chinese food’ and is present in many natural foods including tomato, mushroom and parmesan cheese. According to Food Safety and Standard Rules 2011, MSG, a flavor enhancer should not be added to food for infants below 12 months. MSG is not permitted in over 50 items, including pastas and noodles (only dried products), but is allowed in the seasoning used for noodles and pastas.
Shedding more light on the matter, Suresh Annapure, joint commissioner (food), FDA Maharashtra told FPJ, “Firstly, we need to understand that MSG is not harmful as it is naturally present in many foods. It is basically a sodium salt of glutamatic acid which is found abundantly in vegetables. With Nestle refuting claims of any addition of MSG in Maggi noodles, we have sent the samples for testing in our Mumbai and Pune laboratories to check the levels of glutamatic acid and sodium in Maggi noodles. Also, the MSG level in the Maggi noodles should be according to the norms of Gross Manufacturing Practice (GMP).”
Besides, if MSG is added to a food product, then it needs to be mentioned on the food packet, if the guidelines of Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are followed. “After the results, if MSG content is found in Maggi noodles, then we will take action against Nestle Maggi for violating the norm of FSSAI for not mentioning the content of MSG in Maggi noodles,” added Annapure.