afaqs! news bureau

Cerelac contains half the permissible limit of sugar set by FSSAI, says Nestle India's CMD

The company is planning to introduce a "no added sugar" variant of Cerelac in the near future.

Nestle India's chairman and managing director, Suresh Narayanan, mentions that Cerelac, an infant food product, contains approximately half the sugar permitted by the Indian food safety regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). He also noted that despite the sugar controversy, Cerelac's sales have not been significantly affected, as mentioned in a report by The Economic Times.

Narayanan characterised the controversy surrounding Cerelac's ingredients in India as "racially stereotyped and unfortunate". He clarified that Cerelac contains approximately 7.1g/100g of added sugar and natural sugar, well below the FSSAI's allowance of 13g/100g.

Additionally, Nestle is considering the introduction of a sugar-free variant of Cerelac in India in the near future. Narayanan emphasised, "We are accelerating momentum on sugar reduction," indicating a commitment to addressing concerns surrounding the product's formulation.

Following a report by Swiss investigative organisation The Public Eye and International Baby Food Action Network, FSSAI recently announced plans to conduct sampling of prominent spice and infant nutrition brands in India. The report highlighted that Cerelac, a Nestle product has been discovered to contain nearly 3 grams of sugar per serving in India. It also alleges that Nestle adds higher amounts of sugar to its baby nutrition products in certain developing markets compared to those sold in Europe.

Narayanan emphasised, "Formulation of our food products is decided globally depending on local nutrition requirements and regulations. The rhetoric around the allegations needs to be scientific instead of hyperventilating. In developed countries too, there are baby foods with added sugar and no added sugar."

He mentioned that FSSAI has collected samples of Cerelac for testing, and Nestle is awaiting the regulator's response on the matter.

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