For Physicochemical Parameter
Protein is an essential nutrient. It plays an important role in the cellular maintenance, growth, and functioning of the human body. A higher quantity of protein is considered to be better.
Acid-insoluble ash indicates the dirt and dust remaining in the product. As per the FSSAI advisory, acid-insoluble ash should not be more than 0.1%. The test was conducted mixing both noodle and seasoning masala.
No requirement has been specified for fat. Fat is an essential part of any balanced diet providing fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins and a concentrated source of energy. A higher quantity of fat is considered to be better.
Calorific value refers to the amount of energy that our body obtains from an item of food when digested and it is expected to be higher in noodles. However, there is no requirement prescribed in the Indian Standard for calorific value in noodles.
No requirement has been specified in the national standard for carbohydrate in instant noodles. Since carbohydrate is a source of energy, higher quantity is considered to be better.
Calcium is a necessary nutrient that helps to form and maintain strong bones and teeth. It is also very important for other physical functions, such as muscle control and blood circulation. As per the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), daily calcium intake is 1,000 milligrams for those who are 19 years to 50 years old.
MSG is a taste enhancer and it is difficult to determine whether it has been derived from natural ingredients or has been added. While dietary intake of monosodium glutamate is allowed under good manufacturing-practice level and within a limit, regular intake can cause severe health issues.
Iron, one of the most abundant metals on earth, is essential to most life forms and to normal human physiology. Iron is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes that maintain good health. It is expected to be higher in noodles.
- Highest iron content was found in Joymee; the lowest was in Maggi.
- Maggi had the lowest sodium content, which is good for consumers.
- Highest sodium content was found in Reliance Select and Wai Wai.
- Most brands did not list the amount of sodium on their packets.
Moisture (% by mass)
Higher content of moisture can affect the shelf life of the product. As per the FSSAI advisory, moisture content in instant noodles should not be more than 12.5 per cent.
Sodium is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods. It is used for seasoning as well as food preservation. Salt also inhibits the growth of bacteria in food articles. Sodium helps to control the amount of water in the body. World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation on sodium consumption for adults is 2 gm/day (equivalent to 5 gm salt/day).
High sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
As per Indian Standard, free acidity should not be more than 4 ml/100 gm.
All brands except Patanjali Atta and Joymee were within the prescribed limit.
Lead in all brands except Patanjali was below the detection limit. However, the lead in Patanjali was well within the specified limit.
It was below the detection limit in all brands.
Again, except Patanjali, all brands were below the detection limit. At the same time, the content of arsenic in Patanjali was within the specified limit.
It was below the detection limit in all brands.
Total Ash excluding Salt (% by mass)
As per the FSSAI advisory, the percentage of total ash excluding salt should not be more than 1.0% in noodles.
Microbiological contamination is a very serious issue for all food products. Microorganisms are responsible for many food-borne diseases. Due to improper or poor hygienic condition during the manufacturing process, microorganisms may occur in the finished product.
TPC and Salmonella
Aflatoxins, which are highly toxic compounds and can cause both acute and chronic toxicity in humans and many other animals, were below the detection limit in all brands.
For Sensory Attributes
Sensory (organoleptic) panel tests were conducted to judge the product on these attributes: color and appearance, flavour, taste, texture and overall acceptability. These tests were conducted in the lab involving panel members under the supervision of trained experts. Ratings were given on a scale of 5 – 5 for ‘most liked’ and 1 for ‘least liked’. The ratings were then converted into scores. Overall Score is out of 25.
For General Qualities
Each packet should be legibly and indelibly marked with the following details:
- Name of material
- Name and address of manufacturer/packer
- Batch or code number
- Net weight
- Date of manufacturer
- Green/red dot mark
- Nutritional information
- Best-before date
- Direction for preparation
- List of ingredients
- FSSAI license number
- Customer-care details
- All brands provided the required information.
The product should be packed in moisture-proof material or in suitable plastic film or moisture-proof bags sealed to prevent ingress of moisture.
Net weight should be as per declaration and not exceed the tolerance limit.
- Net weight in all brands except Wai Wai was found to be above the declared weight. In the case of Wai Wai, the difference between the declared value and the actual value was within the permissible limit.
Noodles were cooked as per instructions provided on the label and cooking time, excluding time for boiling of water, was measured. It may be noted that all the brands had declared the cooking time to be 2 or 3 minutes.