Nepal bans import and sale of certain Indian spice mixes over quality concerns

After Singapore and Hong Kong, Nepal has also taken action against certain spice-mix products manufactured by Indian brands over alleged quality concerns. From Friday, the sale and import of four spice-mix products by MDH and Everest have been banned in the Himalayan nation due to suspected ethylene oxide (EtO) contamination.

According to the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control in Nepal, the banned products are Madras Curry Powder, Sambhar Mixed Masala Powder, and Mixed Masala Curry Powder of MDH, as well as Fish Curry Masala of Everest.


The department stated that residue contents of ethylene oxide were found to be exceeding the prescribed limit in these four products. The import and sale of these products have been banned within the country as per Article 19 of the Food Regulation 2027 B.S.

The food quality control watchdog has urged importers and traders to recall these products from the market, citing media reports about the sale of these substandard and potentially harmful products.

Last month, Singapore and Hong Kong had also halted sales of some spices produced by MDH and Everest over suspected elevated levels of EtO, which has been linked to some cancers.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has initiated steps to examine the quality of powdered spices from various brands in the country following these incidents.

The Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders (FISS) has warned that India’s spice exports may decline nearly 40 percent in the upcoming fiscal year if the issue of ethylene oxide contamination in spices meant for exports is not addressed promptly.

India is among the world’s leading spice producers, exporting over 200 spices and value-added products to some 180 countries, with exports worth USD 4 billion in 2021-22, according to the Spices Board of India.