Instant Noodles Are Not Killing You With Wax

A friend tried to warn me off eating instant noodles recently. "They have wax added and it can build up and give you cancer," he claimed earnestly. That sounded like highly dubious internet folklore, and it didn't take much research to confirm that.

Picture by ffuentes

Urban mythbusting site Snopes offers a comprehensive debunking of this particular myth in all its variant forms. In brief: instant noodles don't have wax added, wax linings aren't needed in the styrofoam cups often used with instant noodles (the styrofoam is already heat-resistant), and in any event wax isn't a particularly dangerous substance and is found in some confectionery. They're appealing cheap and easy to prepare, but the best reason not to regularly eat instant noodles is the high sodium content of the flavourings they usually ship with.

Noodles and the Boodle [Snopes]


    Yep, all your Jelly Snakes (etc, whatever shape of jellied confectionery may be) are waxed, so are sultanas.

    But oh my the sodium ... there's often a heck of a lot of salt in them there noodles (or at least, the flavourings).

    Not to mention the fat content from the noodle frying process!

    The main problem with instant noodles is with the extremely skewed nutrition values, namely high fat, high sodium and lacking in pretty much everything else. Heck, there are some instant noddles that have more sodium in a single packet than recommended daily intake for an adult! (BTW, these noodles smell and tastes soooooo damm good.)

    Recommendation: Cook the noodles over stove top in a pot, add extra water and reduce the flavouring. Add some vegetables and throw in an egg for extra nutrition and taste.

      Right on the dot man. When I don't have much time to prepare a meal, I pot boil my noodles, chuck in a bag of frozen vegies (they are supposedly nutritionally better than fresh vegies), an egg, and I also cut up a little low fat deli meat (smoked ham, or turkey breast) cut into strips.

      I'm might not win any awards but at least it is a little more nutritional than just noodles.

      Also add in the seasoning until it is just right, because most of the time you put it all in and think "man this is salty", but end up eating it all anyway.

      that'll dilute the flavour but total salt intake is still the same tho, might as well get the full flavour

        Less flavoring means less salt, the flavoring is where the salt and MSG is.

        Only if you drink all of the water

    The people who blindy share this kind of info piss me off, especially when it's so easy to check the facts. The recent Facebook Private Messages thing had a heap of people in a fuss over nothing.

      Just to add, I hate all the Facebook things saying every like will give this person a $1 because they are suffering cancer, with a picture attached of a person with a completely different illness.

    This just goes to show how stupid and gullable the vast majority of the population is.
    @zzyss, you can also find air-"fried" noodles.
    3g sodium is the NHMRC RDI for an average australian male, 75kg.
    Quite a lot of the sodium load is also the monosodium glutamate that's used, which stimulates your sense of "Unami," hence the delicious reaction (If you like this, you'll like seaweed, meats, and Parmesan cheese).

    As Sylphier said, chuck in some meat and a pack of mc cain steam veggies, a raw egg into the mix changes the texture incredibly and makes it actually quite nice.

    with mi goreng for example. i don't even use any of the seasoning. i buy myself a bottle of kecap manis and sambal. boil the noodles, drain and toss in a bit of the sauces. i like to crack an egg in right at the end and mix it through. sometimes ill go all out and add some chicken !

    Pro tip - add ramen-style egg.

    False. Variations of this claim have been circulating in various forms for more than a decade. Instant noodles contain Palm Oil, not wax, to prevent sticking. Wax would not solve the issue anyway, as wax melts at lower temperatures and would quickly melt off the noodles as they are heated. The disposable containers that noodles come in do not use wax either, for the same reason. Polyethylene coated paper, expanded polystyrene, and polypropylene plastics are used instead to make the containers so that they are water proof.

    However, disposable containers are not all equal. Some are NOT designed to be in a microwave, as they can leech chemicals into the food that you are attempting to heat. Always read the directions on the label or container to be safe. If you're still not sure, or it doesn't specifically mention microwaving, play it safe and swap the container out for one that is microwavable. Having a few extra dirty dishes is a small price to pay to avoid being sick later on down the road.

    Better still use freshly made noodles and home made chicken stock. Add fresh vegies, like beans sprouts and greens, add roast meat of your choice and there you have a bowl of almost chemical free meal.

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