Shares of Nestlé India continued to decline for the second straight day even after the Swiss food giant claimed it never compromised on the nutritional quality of its products.

India is among the 12 developing countries where the Switzerland-based fast-moving consumer goods company sells baby food products that contain “high levels” of added sugar, according to a report by Public Eye, a Swiss investigative organisation, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). In developed markets like Germany, France, Switzerland and the U.K., such products are sold with no added sugar.

Share of Nestlé India dropped 3.5% to ₹2,375.75 on the BSE on Friday. This follows a 3% decline on Thursday.

In a statement, Nestlé India says it has already reduced added sugars by up to 30% over the past 5 years depending on the variant. “We regularly review our portfolio and continue to innovate and reformulate our products to further reduce the level of added sugars, without compromising on nutrition, quality, safety, and taste,” it says.

“We would like to assure that our infant cereal products, are manufactured to ensure the appropriate delivery of nutritional requirements such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, iron etc. for early childhood. We never compromise and will never compromise on the nutritional quality of our products.”

“We constantly leverage our extensive Global Research and Development network to enhance the nutritional profile of our products. Compliance is an essential characteristic of the Company and we will never compromise on that. We also ensure that our products manufactured in India are in full and strict compliance with CODEX standards (a commission established by WHO and FAO) and local specifications (as required) pertaining to the requirements of all nutrients including added sugars,” the FMCG major says.

“Nestlé India is committed to delivering the best nutrition to our consumers, which we have been doing for over 100 years and would always maintain highest standards of nutrition, quality and safety in our products,” the company says.

Nestle sells a total of 15 Cerelac baby products in India, of which all contain added sugar, with around 2.7 gm of added sugar per serving.

"In India, where sales surpassed $250 million in 2022, all Cerelac baby cereals contain added sugar, on average nearly 3 grams per serving," says the Public Eye report.

Meanwhile, spice maker Everest has also found itself in the crosshairs of the Singapore Food Agency (SFA). The food regulator has ordered the recall of a fish curry spice imported from India after a pesticide was allegedly found in it, reported The Straits Times. This came after the Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong had the product recalled due to the presence of ethylene oxide that exceeded the permissible limit.

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