What Food Additives Are There in the Instant Noodles?

What Food Additives Are There in the Instant Noodles?

I am not aware if you have paid attention to the ingredient list of instant noodles. There are so many unrecognized food additives written on it. This has also led to many rumors about instant noodles. “Instant noodles are preservatives. It takes 32 days for a bowl of instant noodles to be detoxified…”. These rumors are all derived from people’s fear of food additives. Today we will be introducing the various food additives used in instant noodles and what their roles are.

1. The Food Additives of Cuboid Instant Noodles


Thickeners play a role in strengthening and increasing the elasticity of instant noodles. They smooth the surface of the instant noodles and improve their flavor. Typical thickeners are guar gum, propylene glycol alginate (PGA), acetylated phosphate, and the like.


Emulsifiers can unify different ingredients and increase the toughness of instant noodles. Typical emulsifiers include soybean phospholipids, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), and the like.


Acidity regulators can adjust the pH value of food, improve quality, and indirectly improve the taste and ductility of instant noodles. Typical acidity regulators are sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate, and the like. 


It should be noted that a food additive does not necessarily serve only one purpose. For example, sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP), sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), tetrasodium pyrophosphate (TSPP), and the like, are used as anticaking agents and, at the same time, moisture retention agents. The anti-caking agent allows the cuboid instant noodles to be kept in a loose structure so that the cuboid instant noodles can absorb water more quickly. The water retention agent can increase the water absorption of the instant noodles, make the instant noodles appear white and attractive, and make the instant noodles stronger and more elastic. 


Most cuboid instant noodles are fried, and long-term storage can easily cause the cuboid instant noodles to oxidize and deteriorate To solve this problem, antioxidants can inhibit the oxidative deterioration of oil and effectively prolong the shelf life of the cuboid instant noodles. Typical antioxidants include vitamin E, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), and so on.

2. The Food Additives in the Seasoning Ingredient Package of the Instant Noodles


The flavor enhancer can supplement or enhance the flavor of the original substance in the food it is added to. Typical flavor enhancers are disodium succinate (WSA), monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium 5′-ribonucleotides and so on.


Coloring agents can impart and improve the color of food to enhance appetite. This is why the instant noodles sauce looks so “delicious”. Typical colorants are carmine, riboflavin, gardenia yellow colorant, capsicum red colorant, turmeric yellow colorant, curcumin and so on. 


Of course, the seasoning oil package is an indispensable part of the instant noodles. Among them, tea polyphenols and vitamin E are used as antioxidants, which can effectively extend the shelf life of the seasoning oil package.

  1. Can There Be Less Food Additives in Instant Noodles?

Food additives have undergone rigorous evaluation, and they will not harm health if used within the scopes permitted by the regulations. Whether you eat a lot of food additives at once, eat food additives every day, or eat a lot of different food additives together, all these eating behaviors will not harm the consumers. Food additives are used in these ways both at home and abroad, so consumers really do not need to be suspicious. Excluding the duplicate varieties, there are about 23 kinds of food additives in a bowl of instant noodles. If any of the food additives are removed, the quality of the instant noodles must be sacrificed, such as instant noodles that are not smooth and chewy, instant noodles that cannot be hydrated in a short time, instant noodles that are soaked rotten too fast, beef cubes that are too hard to chew, and egg cubes that taste like rubber.

You may have noticed that several different food additives perform the same functions. For example, in instant noodles, three different water retention agents are used concurrently. The use of similar food additives can often complement each other. The best production performance can be achieved with a smaller total of food additives added. So, if you want to have fewer varieties of food additives, companies can surely comply with this requirement, but the total amount of food additives added must be increased. 

In other words, if you really care about the addition of food additives, you should choose the food with more “varieties” of food additives, because this food is probably also the one with a lower “dosage” of the total amount of food additives added.

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