Patanajali Ayurved, the FMCG venture promoted by yoga guru Baba Ramdev, launched noodles amidst the whole Maggi ban controversy. Where we haven’t yet tasted the noodles, in a rather surprising news report, The Indian Express reported that Ramdev has not obtained mandatory product approvals from the Food Safety and Regulatory Authority of India (FSSAI). What’s even more surprising is that the Patanjali Atta Noodles packets display an “FSSAI licence number”! “FSSAI licence number 10014012000266” can be seen on the packets.
Ashish Bahuguna, FSSAI chairperson who also holds additional charge as its CEO, told The Indian Express,
Patanjali Atta Noodles has not got product approvals from us. The matter has been brought to our notice. We are pursuing it. How can licence be given for a product that has not been approved? Licences are issued by the state government to manufacture certain items. But approvals for (non-standardised) products are given by us. That approval was not taken. I do not know how the licence was procured.
On the same matter, Ramdev’s spokesman S K Tijarawala said,
I am not aware of the technical details and currently there is nobody available who can give me the clarifications. I can revert tomorrow.
As per the FSSAI sources, noodles is not a standardised product, which means FSSAI is the sole authority mandated to grant product approval. Not only that, Patanjali Ayurved has not applied for approvals for the noodles yet. According to information available with FSSAI’s Food Licensing and Registration System, the licence issued to Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, Patanjali Food and Herbal Park is for manufacturing a range of products, not including noodles. The list covers fruit juices/ready to serve fruit beverages, ghee, mustard/coconut oil, salt, asafoetida, biscuit, sattu, oats, cornflakes, poha, soan papdi, jaggery powder, namkeen and papad, gur, whole wheat atta, pulses, sweets and pasta products (macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli).
As per the food safety act, the noodles cannot be treated as a constituent of the pasta group, either. Patanjali Atta Noodles comes with a masala mix, the FSSAI sources said. Though FSSAI can’t act till any product is actually sold in the market. The Patanjali Atta Noodles launched by Ramdev will hit the market next month. Ramdev endorses it as a “healthy option”.
News information sourced from The Indian Express