Two instant noodles were just withdrawn after they were identified to contain toxic and carcinogenic ethylene oxide!
Toxic Ethylene Oxide Found In Two Instant Noodles!
On Monday, 24 April 2023, the Taipei Department of Health released the results of its 2023 inspection of instant noodles available in Taipei, in which it found that two types of instant noodles from Malaysia and Indonesia were found to contain the toxic and carcinogenic ethylene oxide.
In its statement, the Taipei Department of Health stated that a batch of “Ah Lai White Curry Noodles” from Malaysia, and a batch of “Indomie : Special Chicken Flavour” noodles from Indonesia both contain ethylene oxide – a chemical compound associated with lymphoma and leukaemia.
Tests conducted by the department detected ethylene oxide in both the noodles and the flavour packet of “Ah Lai White Curry Noodles“, but only in the flavour packet of “Indomie : Special Chicken Flavour” noodles.
Both instant noodles were ordered to be taken off the shelves, and its importers fined between NT$60,000 (US$1,960) and NT$200 million (US$6.5 million).
Chen Yi-ting (陳怡婷), who heads the Taipei Department of Health’s Food and Drug Division, said that they conducted the instant noodles inspection in the city by randomly selecting 30 products from supermarkets, convenience stores, hypermarkets, traditional wet markets, Southeast Asian food shops and wholesale importers.
On 26 April 2023, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) ordered a recall of both instant noodles. It also announced that ethylene oxide was found in 11 samples of the Mi Sedaap instant noodles earlier.
Read more : Ethylene Oxide Found In Mi Sedaap Noodles Too!
The Risk Of Ethylene Oxide In Instant Noodles
At room temperature, ethylene oxide is a flammable colourless gas, with a sweet odour. It is often used as a pesticide and sterilising agent, but is considered a health risk if remnants remain on the food products.
The US EPA considers ethylene oxide to be carcinogenic to humans by the “inhalation route”, with exposure linked to an increased risk of lymphoid cancer, and breast cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies ethylene oxide as a Class 1 carcinogen. Due to its carcinogenic properties, the EU sets the limit for ethylene oxide very low, at just 0.02 mg/kg.
Over the years, ethylene oxide has been detected in instant noodles from different brands, which is why regular tests are important to make sure they remain below acceptable limits.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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