Patanjali instant atta noodles and Maggi … Separating Fact from Fiction

Day before yesterday, reports surfaced, which said Baba Ramdev’s Atta Noodles is not approved by the Agency.

Ramdev had launched the Patanjali instant atta noodles on November 16 in Delhi. Very soon the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) alleged that it was not a standardized product and was not approved by the agency.

Now, the manufacturer for Ramdev Atta Noodles, the Haridwar, Uttarakhand-based Akash Yog Health organization says that they are a “British Retail Consortium (BRC) certified company”, and are manufacturing the noodles as per safety standards applicable in Europe; and earlier they were manufacturing noodles for the Knorr brand of Hindustan Unilever.

Ramdev, in a media statement on November 18, had stated that “all legal procedures were adhered to during the noodles’ manufacture”.

Alright…Both Baba Ramdev and his manufacturer may be stating the fact

Although I have doubts in their claim. I will tell you in a while.

Coming to the facts, then if Ramdev is stating facts now; then so was Maggi!

Actually it’s all about the adhering to the standards made by the agency.

If the regulating agency doesn’t say zero lead or lead quantities to very low amount, in any food product; then why will the manufacturer, who’s there for maximizing profits, spend extra money and resources to make it lead free or reduce it to the minimum.

Second, Maggi was much attacked for having MSG or Ajeenomoto (or mono-sodium-glutamate).

At that time, Nestle, the makers of Maggi, claimed that they don’t “Add MSG”. Pick a Maggi Noodles packet and you will see “No Added MSG” clearly written on the pack. Here the word to focus on is : “NO ADDED”.

This because, when protein is hydrolyzed, MSG is an automatic by-product. That’s irrespective of whether you want it or not, it will form. When Nestle says no added MSG, then it simply means we have not added MSG from outside.

Now, if the Indian Agency doesn’t clearly tell the manufacturer to make the product “zero MSG”; then why will it take extra effort to remove the by-product.

Hence, on the face of it, Nestle’s claims about Maggi look valid.

To end, I still doubt Baba Ramdev’s Atta Noodle Claims of it being safe (if MSG and other things are concerned).

Why? As Baba Ramdev’s manufacturer earlier manufacturing noodles for the Knorr brand of Hindustan Unilever, doesn’t prove anything. Because, when comapred to Maggi noodles, the Knorr brand of Hindustan Unilever, doesn’t command any significant instant noodle market share. Hence, even if someone says they manufactured Knorr noodles; no one will put extra effort and resources to check either the claims or the product.

If proper testing is done, then majority of products, which taste like meat, will have MSG. This includes Namkeens, Soups etc.

If Baba Ramdev’s Instant Atta Noodles are really MSG free, then they will not succeed. As MSG gives taste and is habit forming.

When seen from these perspectives, it appears that Maggi was made a target to fulfil certain market objectives. That’s to displace the market leader and introduce one’s own product.

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