The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday rejected an online rumor that instant noodles contained harmful preservatives, saying that the products do not contain any preservatives.
During typhoon days when most stores are closed, many Taiwanese tend to eat instant noodles or canned foods that are easy to prepare and have a long shelf life, the agency said.
However, online posts claiming that preservatives in these foods could be harmful to health, or could cause “mummification” have caused concern among the public, it said.
However, the concerns are unfounded, as the packaging process of the products does not require the use of preservatives, the agency said.
Instant noodles are prepared by removing all water from the products by flash-frying or hot air drying, it added.
The lack of water significantly reduces the chances of microorganisms growing on the noodles, the agency said.
The method of removing water to preserve food is also used in many dried vegetable, fruit and meat products, it said.
A combination of processes, including sterilization and heating foods to high temperatures, is used in canning to kill micro-organisms, it added.
Candied or salted foods are prepared using osmosis to replace their water content with sugar or salt, which slows the reproduction of microorganisms, it said.
As the growth of microorganisms is affected by temperature, packaging plants can extend the shelf life of food products by heating them to high temperatures or freezing them, the agency said.
For example, fresh milk undergoes high-temperature treatment, or pasteurization, to kill microorganisms, it said.
However, consumers must still pay attention to packaging to ensure all food safety information is provided and that the product has not expired, the agency said.
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