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Consumer Health is not a priority for Noodle manufacturers

 

Instant Noodles remain unhealthy even after 7 years, reveal CERC tests


12:42, 24/10/2019:
GrahakSathi (August-September 2019), the National Consumer Magazine in Hindi published by Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad, recently released its test findings on Instant Noodles. We tested 9 brands of Instant Noodles which revealed that all brands were high on sodium and fat. Comparison of our tests in 2012, 2014 and 2019 show that nothing much has changed. Donot blindly believe the claims made by the advertisers claim that a particular brand of instant noodles is “healthy”.

9 brands of instant noodles ‘masala’ were procured from Ahmedabad market. The brands were Maggi 2 Minutes Noodles, Ching’s Secret Schezwan Instant Noodles, Maggi Nutri-licious Atta Noodles, Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles, Knorr Soupy Noodles, Top Ramen Atta Noodles, Patanjali Atta noodles, Wai-Wai Ready to Eat Noodles and Reliance Select Instant Noodles.

KEY FINDINGS(see table in Annexure for detailed results)
1. Highest sodium content was found in Knorr Soupy Noodles (1897mg/100g) followed by Ching’s Secret Schezwan Instant Noodles (1745mg/100g) and the lowest sodium content was in Maggi Nutri-licious Atta Noodles at 1093mg/100g. (As per UK’s Food Standard Agency (FSA) recommendations [Traffic Signpost Labelling Technical Guidance], sodium content of more than 600mg/100g is considered as ‘high’)
2. The fat content was the highest in Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles at 21.2g/100g against the labelled 20.3g/100g and the lowest in Maggi Nutri-licious Atta Noodles at 14.2g/100g. Knorr Soupy Noodles had 17.6g/100g though it claimed to have 15g/100g. (As per UK’s Food Standard Agency (FSA) recommendations [Traffic Signpost Labelling Technical Guidance], fat content more than 20g/100g is considered ‘high’)
3. 3 brands - Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles, Top Ramen Atta Noodles and Reliance Select Instant Noodles - did not mention the amount of sodium content in the nutritional information given on the label.
4. Alarming Trend
• Fat and sodium content reduced in Maggi 2 Minutes Noodles, Maggi Nutri-licious Atta Noodles, Knorr Soupy Noodles and Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles from 2012 to 2014. However, both parameters showed increase when tested in 2019.
• For Ching’s Secret Schezwan Instant Noodles, fat content decreased in 2019 as compared to 2012 whereas sodium showed increase in the same period.
• Fat content in Reliance Select Instant Noodles decreased in 2014 and increased again in 2019 whereas sodium consistently showed an increase from 2012 to 2019(see tableperformance of brands over the years).

Best Buy
Top Ramen Atta Noodles gets the first rank among all brands. If price is also considered, Maggi 2 Minutes Noodles,which obtained the second best rank,is reasonably priced (Rs. 16/100g) and also has a lower fat and salt content compared to Wai-Wai Ready to Eat Noodles which is at the same rank. Our best buy among the 9 brands of Instant Noodles is Maggi 2 Minutes Noodles

 

PERFORMANCE OF BRANDS OVER THE YEARS

Sr. No.

Brand Name

Fat Content (g/100g)

Sodium (mg/100g)

2012

2014

2019

2012

2014

2019

1

Maggi 2 Minutes Noodles

14.7

11.55

15.6

821.0

675.75

1198

2

Maggi Nutri-licious Atta Noodles

17.0

12

14.2

1031.0

831

1093

3

Knorr Soupy Noodles

14.8

12.6

17.6

1943.0

1506

1897

4

Ching’s Secret Schezwan Instant Noodles

17.3

-

15.8

1210.0

-

1745

5

Sunfeast Yippee!  Noodles

18.3

14.48

21.2

1152.0

753.75

1099

6

Reliance Select Instant Noodles*

17.4

12.68

16.1

1008.0

1118.25

1200

*We tested New Reliance Select Instant Noodles in 2012 and 2014, while in 2019 the brand tested was Reliance Select Instant Noodles


AREAS OF ACTION
CERC will be sending representations to the regulatory authorities for taking the following actions:
• FSSAI will be requested to urgently set limits of fat and sodium, taking into account our country’s dietary traditions and tropical climate. We will also request them to make the declaration of the fat and sodium content mandatory in labelling requirements for instant noodles.
• Manufacturers should make a conscious effort to reduce the level of sodium in instant noodles and increase the amount of elements such as calcium and iron to maximise the nutritional benefits. They need to reformulate products and invest in better, healthier versions.
• The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) should seriously focus on advertisements and promotions of noodles addressed to children, and also on celebrities endorsing Noodles as healthy snack/breakfast.
• Efforts should be made towards education and awareness of consumers regarding health impact of Noodles

GRAHAK SATHI’S CONCLUSION
The test results clearly indicate that Instant noodles are high in sodium and therefore cannot be considered a healthy food. Donot be lured by the tall claims about their goodness made in the advertisements. Such packaged foods should only be consumed occasionally.

 

Table - Instant Noodles: Test Results

 

Brands

Ranks

Overall Score1

Price/ 100g2 (Rs.)

Sodium

Content3(mg/100g)

Fat Content4(g/100g)

Moisture

(%)

Acid Insoluble Ash (%)

Acid Value

 

 

 

 

more than 600mg/100g is high

more than 20g/100g is high

Max.10.0      

Max 0.3

Max 2.0

Top Ramen Atta Noodles

1

70

21.43

1098

20.6

5.7

0.004

1.2

Maggi 2 Minutes Noodles

2

67

16

1198

15.6

5.5

0.02

1.7

Wai-Wai Ready to Eat Noodles

2

67

16

1348

18.2

3.0

0.03

1.7

Reliance Select Instant Noodles

2

67

24

1200

16.1

6.7

0.02

1.4

Sunfeast Yippee!  Noodles

3

65

16.67

1099

21.2

5.4

0.02

1.6

Maggi Nutri-licious Atta Noodles

4

62

25

1093

14.2

5.8

0.16

1.6

Patanjali Atta noodles

4

62

16.67

1299

20.0

4.9

0.02

1.8

Ching’s Secret Schezwan Instant Noodles

5

59

16.67

1745

15.8

5.5

0.04

1.8

Knorr Soupy Noodles

6

47

20

1897

17.6

5.3

0.16

1.9

Notes:

1The Overall Score was calculated by giving the following weightage – Moisture – 20%, Acid Insoluble Ash – 20%, Acid Value – 20%, Fat content – 20% and Sodium Content – 20%.

2 Price/100g calculated from MRP and rounded off

3   For sodium content lesser value is better

4   For fat content lesser value is better

All 9 brands complied with FSSAI limit for moisture content, acid insoluble ash and acid value.

 

 

  
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