With a long history, instant noodles, cooked in a simple way, was created firstly in Japan.  Specially, in 1955, it appeared on the market to make a simple pasta broken into the “baby noodles”, which became popular in public instantly, and since 1958, “chicken noodles” invented by Ando Fukuda, the founder of the Nissin Food, appeared in the public eye, the various manufacturers have started to introduce instant noodles. Today, China has become one of the largest consumer of instant noodles in the world.

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It is difficult to control food safety of instant noodles because of instant noodles’ complex production processes.  In recent years, the occurrence of food security issues led to a variety of toxic rumors about instant noodles, so that the industry of instant noodles in the Chinese market suffered a serious defeat.  In the meanwhile, it gave the consumers lots of confusion.  Especially, with exposure of the instant noodles events, including “acid door”, ‘fluorescent door”, and “carcinogenic door”, instant noodles again were pushed into the cusp of public opinions in 2012.  According to the survey, some of these events were proved to be real, while some of others were proved to be not true.

Food Security Events

In 11th July, 2012, a media reported that the during a routine of sampling survey of instant noodles by the Trade and Industry Bureau in Henan Province, China, it was found that Jinmailang’s production, such as “one dollar Wang spicy beef noodles”, “wild ramen instant noodles” are detected including acid exceeded.  After that, Jinmailang official announcement said that Jinmailang with the same batch products from the market had sent to the State Grain and Oil Quality Supervision and Inspection Center, and all of these are qualified in the test results.

In, 8th August, 2012, the Chinese “International Food Packaging Association” published the investigation report that the fluorescent material contents used in the outer layer of double-layer paper products with many well-known Chinese brands, including instant noodles barrels, milk cups, disposable cups, paper bowl, are exceeded.

In 24th October, 2012, seasoning packages of the “Korean agricultural hot spicy udon cups” and other six kinds of instant noodles were detected including benzopyrene by Taiwan’ media news, raising the domestic attention of public.  Then AQSIQ promptly responded that requiring importers to recall these kinds of instant noodles.  Shortly after, the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality Supervision released test results about various spices packet samples from related Shanghai instant noodle products, showing that there are “no detection of benzopyrene.”

The exposure of each of these events has brought the Chinese people’s attention, because Chinese citizens rely on the instant noodles as British dependence on fried chicken.  Whether instant noodles have any harm or not?  The followings are some questionnaire results interviewed by a number of Chinese nutritionists.

Chinese citizens is the most worried about the food additive problem in the instant noodles.  There are indeed a lot of name of additives on instant noodles labeled, and some of them even account for 25 kinds.  But some Chinese food scientists claimed that it will be legal as long as using of food additives in accordance with the provisions of GB2760.

Many people have concerns about the oil used in instant noodles, not only on poor quality of frying oil, but also the possible phenomenon of repeated use.  In fact, the oil in instant noodles is the refined palm oil; when it comes to the edible oil causing hardening of the arteries and other hazards, this is actually a dietary balance.  Healthy diet focus on the dietary balance.

Some people worry about that the addition of instant noodles, such as soda, is harmful to the body.  In fact, the use of instant noodles is edible alkali, its principle is the same as the daily favorite food in northern China,” steamed bun”, which is safe within the allowable amount of the standard.

10 years ago, Chinese eating concept is aimed to be full, while with the development of economic, people’s living standards are improving, and the richness of nutrition is attached by more and more people.  Although convenient, instant noodles is a single nutrition, high oil content, and high salt.  Long-term consumption is not conducive to a balanced diet.  Nowadays, the dehydrated vegetable bag, the meat bag and other ingredients are becoming gradually rich, which is to solve this problem.  However, dehydrated vegetables cannot preserve enough vegetable nutrition.  Besides, the storage of meat bag is inconvenience caused by eating problems and other issues, with the commodity positioning contrary to instant noodles.

The packaging material for instant noodles is another question to be crusaded.  For the safety of food containers, DongJinshi, a president of the “International Food Packaging Association”, pointed out the reason why the outer layer of fluorescent substances exceeded among the instant noodles barrels, milk cups and other paper containers, is likely to use a non-food grade paper, or even may be waste paper.  Therefore, Chinese government should increase the supervision of the instant noodle production process to ensure the container’s compliance.

Future trends in instant noodles

On the other hand, through the instant noodles caused a sensation in China, we can see the instant noodles and other convenience food have a huge market development potential.

In the next period of time, from the price, popularity, consumer awareness and consumer habits and other aspects of the integrated aspects of consideration, instant noodles, as a convenience food, will continue to occupy an important position in China.  Although Asians generally prefer to eat rice, instant noodles compared with rice is more convenient, more portable, and easier to eat.  Furthermore, instant noodles will tend toward the nutrition, health, with minerals, dietary fiber, vitamins strengthened, as well as the visual aesthetic development.  It can be believed that with the nutritional balance and delicious, instant noodles market will become increasingly large. Instant noodle industry is one of the most development potential of Chaoyang industry among Asia’s food industry.  With the economic effects of globalization, there may be more and more countries to accept instant noodles and instant noodles industry will usher new opportunities.