Food and Drug Dept. warns of fake Aji-no-moto on local market
The Government Analyst – Food and Drug Department (GAFDD) is warning consumers, wholesalers and retailers of the circulation of counterfeited (fake) one (1)Lb., two hundred (200g) and one hundred (100g) brands of Aji-no-moto on the local market that is traded particularly in outlying areas.
The item which was found to be of a different color from the original product is being sold cheaper and is bad for consumers’ health.
“The original product is made in Brazil and the official distributor is Continental Agencies Limited of Industrial Estate, Ruimveldt Georgetown and a carton of fifty (50) packs X 454 grams of the original Ajinomoto cost approximately twenty thousand ($20000) GY dollars , while the cost for a carton of the counterfeited product is only fourteen thousand ($14000) GY dollars” a statement from the department said.
The Food and Drug Department says it has been seizing fake Aji-No-Moto from several stalls and supermarkets in the lower East Coast area. However, it said it was denied access to the premises of the suspected Importer.
Environmental Health Officers in outlying regions, the department said, have since been instructed to engage in the crackdown against the bogus product.
Director of the Food and Drug Department, Marlan Cole called on wholesalers, retailers and consumers to check for the highlighted difference between the original and counterfeited product.
He warned that persons caught selling fake or substandard products could be charged and placed before the courts.
“Persons found deliberately offering for sale items of food that is not according to the prescribed standard is guilty of an offence and can be prosecuted under the Laws of Guyana Food and Drug Act Chapter 34:03 Section seven (7).”
Laboratory analysis conducted for Purity both in Brazil and Japan revealed that the original product is 99.90% pure while the counterfeited product is only 91.63% pure.
Therefore, using the counterfeited product can therefore result in excessive salt (sodium) intake by consumers since more Aji-no-moto would be added in food than normal to reach the required level of aroma and/or taste.
Implications of using the fake product includes Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, hypertension and congestive heart failure which results from excessive salt (sodium) intake.
There are noticeable differences between the original and the counterfeited Aji-No-Moto label and color.
On the label of the original Aji-No-Moto the expiry date and related information is printed on the right sided outer seal of the plastic package, while on the counterfeited product, a production date and an expiry date is placed directly on the body (main panel) of the package. In addition, the crystal of the original product is cream in color, while that of the counterfeited product is white.