Maggi has been India’s favourite instant noodles for decades. The name has actually replaced “instant noodles”. Any time you feel hungry and don’t want to spend much time cooking you make magi. It’s the savior for a lot of people in India living away from their family. Maggi has become a household name in India. But the recent ruckus around the amount of MSG and Lead in it has led many to question about the healthiness of this quick to make snack.
The first issue is that traces of MSG were found in Maggi. MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is used in the food industry to enhance flavor. The USFDA has given MSG a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation. Some people believe that MSG is related to the “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” but controlled studies by scientists haven’t yielded any consistent results. In fact, MSG can be used to reduce the sodium content in the food. With appropriate use salt can be reduced by 30 to 40 percent without any reduction in saltiness. That’s actually a benefit over regular salt. So as far as the presence of MSG in Maggi is concerned, it shouldn’t be a health issue for most cases.
The second issue was that with the lead content. On this a Nestle spokesperson said “We are surprised with the lead content supposedly found in the sample. We monitor the lead content regularly as part of regulatory requirements, and tests at our own accredited laboratories as well as those by independent external accredited laboratories have consistently shown the results to be well within the permissible limit.”
The test results that started the controversy reported that Maggi contains 17 ppm of lead. The permissible limit is 0.01 ppm. That is over 7 times the permitted limit. Nestle says its records show lead content is negligible and less than 1 % of the fixed limit.
And then we have the news that the FDA in Maharashtra, Kerala and Goa have tested different Maggi samples from their states and found nothing objectionable. Besides that, the fact that the samples that were tested in Delhi were already near their expiry date just adds to our confusion. These data and facts put to question the accuracy of the tests in Delhi.
Now if you believe Nestle then you are consuming foods that are according to the regulations set by the FSSAI. That means that our beloved Maggi is safe for consumption. The recent tests in the other states support this statement. So if you live in any state that has declared that the content in Maggi is under the safe limits then you have nothing to worry about. Even those states that are supplied by these states wouldn’t have much to worry about. As for people of those states that have not yet conducted their tests, you guys will just have to wait and watch.