Gurgaon: Packaged food maker Nestle India Ltd have decided to increase the iron content and decrease salt amount in its flagship product Maggi Noodles. The same will apply for Maggi-branded products like Maggi Masala, seasonings and soups.
The company is a subsidiary of Swiss packaged food giants Nestle SA. It said that it made the decision in response to consumer and government pushes for healthier products.
The ‘fortified’ Maggi masala noodles will be available across the country at nearly 35 lakh retail outlets in a matter of weeks. The ‘non-fortified’ noodles will be withdrawn gradually. The prices of the products will remain the same. Nestle is making the changes in salt and iron content as part of its global strategy.
It means to reduce sodium, sugar and saturated fats from its products so that they appeal to larger masses. Nestle’s strategy involves cutting sodium content by 10 per cent from all Maggi-branded products by 2020. It also intends to add more vegetables and nutrient-rich ingredients.
Nestle claims that in the last 10 years, it has reduced the sodium content in all-Maggi-branded products by 32.7 per cent.
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Only four months prior to Nestle’s move, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had set up a panel with scientific experts on “food fortification and nutrition”. The panel will recommend guidelines for addressing the issue of malnutrition in India by making fortified food products available to the public. It aims to make the supply of fortified foods mandatory in government-funded schemes including mid-day meal programmes, public distribution system, and integrated child development services. The guidelines will be implemented jointly by the food regulator FSSAI and the Union Ministry for Women and Child Development.
Recently companies like Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Unilever Plc. etc have expanded their fortified products portfolios. Many countries levy heavy taxes on sugar and also cap sodium content in food products.