Waxy Instant Noodles



Have you ever been told not to eat instant noodles regularly? Well, I bet most of us who are fans of it had received such advise from anyone. They're actually saying the truth not to do it frequently, unless if they mention about the waxy lining on every noodle strand.

According to anyone, those waxy linings are dangerous to our health, but not because the chemical to which it was produced is harmful, but because this wax accumulates to our intestines and will result to an intestinal problem. Additionally, these wax are hard to digest and hard to excrete since it sticks to the intestinal walls, and our body needs 2 days to clean it. It was even claimed that this waxy thing can cause Cancer. (Just like the one in the image below.)

Eating instant noodles may actually be dangerous since all things eaten to much is harmful to our health. However, can we really believe that ALL instant noodles have this wax? What is the truth behind it?

The Rumor

[Taken from the Internet:]


Chain messages and spam e-mails continue to spread the word about this waxy noodles until now. Social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are also one of the main sources to where people learn the rumor.

There were variations of this story. One of them specifically points out the manufacturer who uses wax on their noodles. Other stories suggest the effect of ingesting the wax to our body, and how to cook noodles properly to eliminate it. And like gossip, stories like this evolve to a more complex health issue, even scary and nasty things are added.

According to some rumor, the wax is coated to every strand of noodles, the reason is to prevent those from sticking to each other just like the one explained in the image above. Thus, people are advised to boil or soak the instant noodles twice before eating it, which others even suggest to do it three times for assurance.

According to another rumor, the noodle itself is not edible. They said it was made of something like plastic with wax on it, just like the fake rice.

Still, according to another rumor, the noodles are not coated or mixed with wax. The container of the instant noodles (cup noodles I guess) itself have the said wax on its wall. Thus, when hot water is poured, this wax melts and joins to the food.

The Ingredients


Noodles are eaten in two different ways - with broth or soup (cup noodles or instant mami or ramen) and dry with oil and soy sauce (pancit canton).

Noodles eaten with broth or soup are made of ...wheat flour, palm oil, modified starch, iodized salt, stabilizers (sodium and potassium carbonates, guar gum, sodium polyphosphate), artificial color (sunset yellow tantrazine) and green tea extract. (Based on the label written on the cup of Lucky Me! Spicy La Paz Batchoy).

While noodles eaten without water are made of ...wheat flour, vegetable oil (palm oil, green tea extract), salt, stabiliser (guar gum (E412)), acidity regulators (carbonates (sodium and potassium)), emulsifier (polyphosphate). (Based on the label written on the Lucky Me! Instant Pancit Canton Noodles (Sweet & Spicy)).

These ingredients may differ from one manufacturer to another, but as you may notice, most of the noodles were made of similar materials.

With regards to the wax being talked about here, there was no specific kind mention in the stories. But there are kinds of waxes used for foods or even produced by the fruit or vegetable itself, and they are edible. Examples of fruits which produce wax naturally are apples, pears and plums. The reason of their wax production is to help them from moisture loss, enhancement of its firmness, and slows down natural degradation.

Paraffin Wax used in foods, which is classified as food preservative, is widely used in fruits, vegetables and candy to make them shiny and pretty as well as to retard moisture loss and spoilage. It is also used to coat cured sausage links to give them a nice sheen.

Other kinds of wax that are not used in food production or preservation are highly toxic - like the one used in floor wax and candles. Anything other than that is not toxic to our body, well unless if you consume waxy foods too much. The least thing may happen can cause you trouble.

The Container


One of the rumor suggests that wax are on the packaging/containers of the instant noodles.

Most of us are aware of the numbers engraved inside the triangle on the bottom of plastic. Number 5 is one of the safest plastics used for food containers. It means the plastic is made of Polypropylene (PP). It is a thermoplastic polymer, a strong, tough, has a high resistance to heat and acts as a barrier to moisture.

Studies shows that cups used for instant cup noodles are made of polyethylene (PE) coated paper (PE are plastics with numbers 2 and 4), expanded polystyrene (EPS), and polypropylene (PP) (the number 5 plastic).

To make the explanation short, these plastics are safe for food packaging. Waxes can be applied to them but our DOH, FDA and/or BFAD will notify everyone of the danger behind the consumption of these products.

Afterword


This urban legend actually dates back to year 2000, according to Snopes.com. And there was no real evidence that there is wax on instant noodles - whether its coated or mixed. The wax itself if ever there is, is not toxic. Thus, the claim that this can cause Cancer isn't strong enough to rely on.

Even if the claims of noodles having wax coating is not true, we must still be aware of the foods we eat. Especially, last 2012 our DOH banned six brands of Korean noodles due to having toxic chemicals.

Like everyone would say, Too much is always dangerous. Whatever is too much, whether its food or not, its still dangerous.
Source:
Ingredients from: Lucky Me!. Monde Nissin Corporation.
https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-paraffin-wax-1807043
http://www.babygreenthumb.com/p-122-safe-plastic-numbers-guide.aspx
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/56036/korea-noodles-safe-to-eat-doh-finds
Image Source:
Photo credit to the owner
[1] http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/08/13/article-2724000-20817E7B00000578-778_634x458.jpg
[2] Image taken from Facebook.com
[3] http://www.plasticexpert.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/images.jpg