Ramen’s off the cook-top in India

NEW DELHI: After 20 years, there’s no Top Ramen noodles in the market, following Nestle’s ‘Maggi’ out of the market.

Indo Nissin Foods, maker of Top Ramen noodles, announced late on Monday that it is withdrawing the entire Top Ramen instant noodles brand from the market, pending its product approval from the Indian food regulator, Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Indo Nissin is a subsidiary of Japanese instant noodles firm Nissin Foods Holdings. Top Ramen has been the third largest instant noodles brand in the country, after Nestle’s Maggi and ITC’s Sunfeast Yippee, with sales estimated at close to Rs 150 crore. The brand has been selling in the country for more than two decades.

Indo Nissin been selling Top Ramen in India with necessary licenses since 1991. But after the FSSAI formulated fresh product approval guidelines in 2012 ­end, Indo Nissin had applied for approvals which it said haven’t yet been cleared by the regulator.

Indo Nissin said that when FSSAI released an advisory on product safety testing of all instant noodle products in India earlier this month, it had sought clarification from the regulator since Top Ramen’s product approval has been pending.

“They (the regulator) have requested us to withdraw the product until they give the approval. We hope to get the approval soon from FSSAI and be back in the market providing safe and affordable food products as we have done for over 24 years,” Gautam Sharma, Indo Nissin MD said. He added that the company is withdrawing the product on the request of the regulator. “Our product has been extensively tested over the last few weeks after product safety concerns arose in the category. We have tested at two FSSAI accredited independent laboratories and shared the results with FSSAI a few weeks ago,” Sharma said.

While many Top Ramen samples were tested by various state FDAs across the country, slightly higher lead levels were been found in the tastemaker only in two cases. “We are meeting the state FDAs and sharing our test results with them as well as seeking a re­test,” the Indo Nissin statement said.

Top Ramen, selling in India since 1991, is manufactured in company­ owned factories. In February this year, Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi had picked up 34% stake in Indo Nissin Foods for about Rs 500 crore. It had said at that time that its move was aimed at scaling up manufacture and sale of instant noodles.

On June 5 this year, FSSAI had ordered a ban on sale of category leader Maggi noodles, a Nestle India brand, following government lab tests showing Maggi to contain lead in excess of permissible limits as well as flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate.

Soon after, HUL announced the withdrawal of Knorr Chinese noodles range which are also not approved, while ITC said it is changing the labelling of its Yippee brand.

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Posted by on June 30, 2015. Filed under Breaking News,India,INDIA -WIDE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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