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Indian Spice Controversy: Hong Kong-Singapore Clarify No Ban Amid Pesticide Concerns

Allegations of No Ban on Indian Spices in Singapore and Hong Kong

According to sources from the Indian government, it has been claimed that there is no ban on any Indian spices in Singapore and Hong Kong. Media reports suggesting otherwise have been refuted, stating that popular spice brands like MDH and Everest had faced only a temporary setback.

As per the information provided by the news agency PTI, an official mentioned that the Indian government has conducted an investigation into the samples of both MDH and Everest. While all 18 samples of MDH met the standards, some of the 12 samples of Everest had higher levels of ethylene oxide.

The central government has advised Everest to improve its production processes. The company has also been sent an email regarding the matter, for which a response is still awaited. Furthermore, both spice manufacturing companies have been advised to ensure caution during production, packaging, storage, and transportation of their products.


Issuance of Stringent Guidelines to Ensure Proper Production Practices

To ensure that products reach their appropriate destinations in suitable conditions, stringent guidelines have been issued. Additionally, the Masala Board has mandated pre-shipment sampling and testing to verify the presence of ethylene oxide in designated products for Singapore and Hong Kong.

In April, allegations surfaced regarding certain MDH and Everest spices containing excessive amounts of ethylene oxide. Following this, media reports suggested bans on select products from both companies in multiple countries.

The Food Safety Department in Hong Kong revealed that three MDH Group spices—Madras Curry Powder, Sambhar Masala Powder, and Karhi Masala Powder—contained elevated levels of ethylene oxide. Similarly, Everest’s Fish Curry Masala was found to have this carcinogenic substance. The higher levels of ethylene oxide pose a risk of cancer.

Purpose of Using Pesticides in Spices

Spice manufacturers utilize pesticides, such as ethylene oxide and salmonella, to safeguard food products from contamination by bacteria and fungi like E. coli and Salmonella. These microorganisms can compromise the shelf life of spices when in contact, leading to spoilage over time.

To prevent such spoilage and extend shelf life, these companies employ pesticides as preservatives or sterilizing agents.

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.