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SNACKS & CONFECTIONERY

Parle Kaccha Mango Bite in trouble in Gujarat for lactic acid presence
Tuesday, 02 May, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
The Gujarat High Court has deferred the hearing of a case related to a petition filed by Parle Biscuits Pvt. Ltd against Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) action on its product Kaccha Mango Bite. Earlier, the Gujarat FDA found lactic acid in Kaccha Mango Bite, which it claimed was against the norms prescribed by the apex food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

H G Koshia, food safety commissioner, FDCA, Gujarat, informed, “From 2012, till date, around 200 samples of Parle Kaccha Mango Bite candy had been collected from different parts of Gujarat state. Out of these, 15 samples were tested and found having the presence of lactic acid.”
He added, “According to Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, use of lactic acid is not allowed in candy and its presence is harmful for human consumption.”

No further action
However, against FDCA action, Parle petitioned in Gujarat High Court and the latter has ordered not to take further action in the matter until the case is decided in the court. The scheduled hearing was on April 26, 2017, but now shifted to June 27, 2017. Koshia stated that as per the orders, the FDA has not taken any action in the matter.

It is pertinent to mention here that in response to a notice issued by a food inspector in Bharuch, Parle Biscuits Pvt. Ltd approached the Gujarat High Court over the use of lactic acid in the product. The company pleaded to the court that the use of lactic acid is permissible and is not harmful to human health.

Meanwhile, in 2012, FDA in Maharashtra had ordered Parle to recall Kaccha Mango Bite candy. But, the Bombay High Court later ruled against the FDA decision. Parle claimed in the court that use of lactic acid in hard-boiled candies is absolutely safe for human consumption.

In the present context, an official from Maharashtra FDA, observed, “Use of lactic acid is not allowed in making of candies. The Kaccha Mango Bite candy had the presence of lactic acid and therefore it is unsafe and harmful to consume.”

Further, commenting on the issue, a spokesperson of Parle Biscuits Pvt. Ltd, said, “We have already proved to the Bombay High Court that lactic acid in Mango Bite candy is permissible and not harmful to health. The court too gave judgement on our side ruling out the FDA report. Since then our product is being sold without any problem in the market.”

Offering industry perspective, M M Chitale of Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) (AFSTI), said, “According to new gazette notification by FSSAI, there is no mention in additives list of lactic acid in confectionery. Hence, it is legally permitted to use lactic acid according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).”
 
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