Banned 'Nirapara' batch not in UAE

Local distributor of the brand – Enhance UAE – says there is no problem here.(Supplied)

Nirapara brand of powdered spices has been banned in the South Indian state of Kerala after the products were found to contain more than permissible quantity of starch in them.

The products are available across the UAE and local distributor of the brand – Enhance UAE – says there is no problem here.

An official source from Enhance UAE, said the product is tested and certified by Dubai Municipality. “The products coming to the UAE is not the same batch that is distributed in Kerala. Dubai Municipality is conducting detailed tests. There is no need withdraw the product here.

“There are two batches of our products manufactured in the same plant. One for local market in India and one for export. For each country there are different specifications and even product expiry dates are printed differently. We strictly follow the UAE rules, and our brands are checked and released,” the official added.

Meanwhile, an official from the Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality said the routine tests on imported food products including the Nirapara brand do not cover the presence of starch. If foreign starch, especially potato starch is used, we do not check it. Normally we test for the presence of harmful chemicals and other adulterants such as Sudani red, pesticides or chemicals.

“These are international malpractices treated as economic adulteration. Mostly it is done in local markets. If we find any harmful substances in food products, we remove them from the shelves here. In this case, no complaints have been received. We do not test for presence of starch. Adding starch in chilli and turmeric powders could be an economic adulteration to increase weight of the product. It happens mainly in bulk commodities and they are not harmful. Here we control adulterations such as adding water in fish or water in frozen chicken to increase weight,” said the official.

A source from Lulu Shopping Mall told ‘Emirates24|7’: “We are checking details and will come back to you. We are selling the product in our stores.”

The product was recently banned in Kerala following directives from the Commissioner of Food Safety, after tests revealed they were adulterated and comprised 15-70 per cent starch content.

TV Anupama, Commissioner, Foods Safety Control Department, Kerala, has intensified inspection of food products, after fruits and vegetables imported from neighbouring states were found to have pesticide contents, resulting in number of health hazards among people.

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