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List of countries that banned Indian spice brands Everest MDH

Nepal's Department of Food Technology and Quality Control has banned the import, sale, and consumption of Indian spice brands Everest and MDH following reports of high levels of ethylene oxide. Testing is underway to confirm these findings.

By Ground report
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List of countries that banned Indian spice brands Everest MDH

Photo: Everest and MDH spices/wesbite

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Nepal's Department of Food Technology and Quality Control has prohibited the import, sale, and consumption of the Indian spice brands Everest and MDH as it commences tests for ethylene oxide levels. This action follows reports of elevated levels of ethylene oxide in these products. Following Singapore, Maldives and Hong Kong's lead, Nepal has taken this measure due to concerns over potential health risks associated with these chemicals.

According to ANI, Nepal's Food Technology and Quality Control Department is conducting tests on these Indian spice brands to ascertain the presence of ethylene oxide, a pesticide linked to cancer. 

"Everest and MDH brand spices which are being imported in Nepal have been banned from import. This comes after the news about traces of harmful chemicals in the spices, ban on import was imposed a week earlier and we also have banned the sales of it in the market," Mohan Krishna Maharjan, spokesperson of Nepal's Department of Food Technology and Quality Control told ANI over the phone.

"Tests are underway for the chemicals in the spices of these two particular brands. The ban will remain in place until the final report comes up. Hong Kong and Singapore already have banned it, this move comes following their move," Maharjan added in a telephone conversation with ANI.

Testing is ongoing, and the ban will remain in effect until conclusive results are obtained. Both Everest and MDH have been widely recognized brands in India for decades and are exported to various countries worldwide, including the Middle East. Additionally, they are undergoing scrutiny in New Zealand, the United States, and Australia.

Indian spices face scrutiny; offer health benefits

According to online reports, Indian spice brands have faced international scrutiny before. In 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall of Everest Food Products due to Salmonella contamination. Despite these challenges, spices are valued for their nutritional benefits and potential health-promoting properties.

For instance, cayenne pepper and black pepper contain compounds that may boost metabolism and aid in weight management, while turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin, shows promise for neuroprotection and cognitive enhancement.

Spices like garlic, turmeric, and cayenne pepper are associated with cardiovascular benefits, including cholesterol reduction and improved heart health. Additionally, certain spices, such as saffron, may have mood-enhancing effects, while others possess antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties. Cayenne pepper, for example, not only aids in metabolism but also provides pain relief and supports circulation.

Furthermore, coriander seeds exhibit antimicrobial properties, aiding oral health and immune function. Cumin seeds, rich in antioxidants, help combat inflammation and chronic diseases. Piperine in black pepper enhances nutrient absorption, while coriander seeds offer a plethora of vitamins and minerals crucial for overall health. Lastly, white pepper is praised for its respiratory health benefits, helping alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions such as colds and sinusitis.

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