The Precipitate of Lead and Monosodium Glutamate MSG in Noodles

Background Context:

The Apex court of India has lifted a ban on sales of noodles by popular brand Nestle and relieved the conglomerate of any criminal proceedings over the alleged presence of monosodium glutamate and lead. National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) decided to go ahead with the suit filed against Nestle over the precipitate of MSG and lead in their noodles.

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Photo by Chang Duong / Unsplash

What’s the issue?

The supreme court allowed the reopening of the case brought against Nestle. This happened after the Swiss food company admitted and their lawyers nodded yes during the court hearing, for the allegations made against them. This backlash, came after a series of tests were conducted by Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) at Mysore to test check the quality of the product, thus CFTRI report concluded the presence of lead and MSG in noodles. Nestle however defended themselves, by saying lead was within the permissible limit.

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Effects of lead and MSG on health

Lead (Symbol: Pb, Atomic number: 82)

  • Lead heavy metal and is very toxic to the human body and affects multiple body parts such as the liver and kidney.
  • It has long-term ill effects and is more harmful to pregnant women and newborns, it is strongly believed that it is more harmful to the nervous system in children.
  • Since lead is heavy metal, hence its repetitive consumption over time through food products, makes a deposit in teeth and bones. In women, common results of the accumulation of lead deposits over time, are early delivery of premature babies, miscarriage, and underweight babies.
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Monosodium Glutamate (popularly known as Ajinomoto)

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) which has the chemical formula C5H8NO4Na is used as a flavor enhancer in food products and it is a very common ingredient in Chinese food products, tin vegetables, processed meat products, and soups.
  • Repetitive consumption of MSG over a period causes excess sweating, physical weakness, regular headache, and nausea. Long-term results are chest pain and burning sensation in the upper abdomen, especially near the face and neck. The deadly effects are Asthma and Brain disorder.
  • However there are many entities other than MSG contributing to the disorders and sickness mentioned above, it would be unwise to MSG responsible for everything, as there is no conclusive evidence for MSG to be held responsible.

About NCDRC

Agency Name: National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
Type of Agency: Public Administrative Agency (Quasi-Judicial Commission)
Founded: 1988.
Headoffice: New Delhi, India.
Official Website: http://ncdrc.nic.in/