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For Physicochemical Parameter

Total Protein

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.

  • The highest amount of protein was found in Patanjali Atta (10.6%) and the lowest in Top Ramen (9.2%).
  • Acid-Insoluble Ash

    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.

  • Acid-insoluble ash in the tested brands varied between 0.02% and 0.05%, which was well within the prescribed limit.
  • Maggi, Yippee, Joymee and Wai Wai scored highest in this parameter.
  • Total Fat

    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.

  • Total fat was found between 18.6% (Yippee) and 13.2% (Joymee).
  • It may be noted that Patanjali noodles claim to use rice bran oil. Top Ramen and Joymee claim to use palm oil; all other brands claim to use vegetable oil (in other words, they are not disclosing the type of oil used). Rice bran oil is healthier than palm oil.
  • Energy

    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.

  • Highest energy was found in Wai Wai and lowest in Joymee.
  • Carbohydrate

    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.

  • Carbohydrate was found in the range of 67.5% (Joymee) to 62% (Patanjali Atta).
  • Calcium

    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.

  • Highest calcium content was found in Maggi (137.1 mg/100 gm). Top Ramen (20 mg/100 gm) had the lowest calcium content.
  • Monosodium Glutamate

    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.

  • MSG was found highest in Wai Wai (added and marked on label). It was lowest in Reliance Select.
  • Iron

    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.

  • All the brands were well within the prescribed limit for moisture.
  • Highest moisture content was found in Maggi (6.9 per cent) and the lowest was in Wai Wai (2.8 percent).
  • Sodium

    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.

  • 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.
  • Free Acidity

    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

    Lead in all brands except Patanjali was below the detection limit. However, the lead in Patanjali was well within the specified limit.

    Cadmium

    It was below the detection limit in all brands.

    Arsenic

    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.

    Mercury

    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.

  • All the brands except Wai Wai (1.2 per cent) were within the prescribed limit.

  • Microbiological Activity

    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

  • Highest total plate count (TPC) was found in Patanjali Atta (82,000 cfu/gm); the least was in Top Ramen (Atta) (3,600 cfu/gm) and Maggi (4,800 cfu/gm).
  • Salmonella, the name for a group of bacteria that can cause food poisoning in humans, was found absent in all the brands tested.
  • Total Aflatoxin

    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 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.

  • Maggi, followed by Reliance Select and Top Ramen (atta), topped in the overall sensory scores.
  • Wai Wai was least liked.

  • For General Qualities

    Marking/Labelling

    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
    • MRP
    • Direction for preparation
    • List of ingredients
    • FSSAI license number
    • Customer-care details
    • All brands provided the required information.
    It may be noted that Wai Wai had marked ‘added MSG’ on the label.

    Packaging

    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

    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.


    Cooking Time

    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.

  • Wai Wai took the least time (two minutes) for cooking. It was highest for Reliance Select (four minutes).