Instant Noodles

Instant Noodles

Instant Noodles

Instant Noodles

How good is your brand?

The popularity of instant noodles has come to the point where we almost count it as our essential grocery item. It meets our untimely hunger pangs and sometimes get served as breakfast and evening snacks as well in a few households. While the acceptance of this product among all age groups is unanimous, the product is still subject to careful investigation for consumption. Does it contain required amount of salt? How much is the toxic content? If we care to make ourselves informed with all these facts, then this piece of reading is for you. Here, we tested five popular instant noodles and ranked them as per their performance scores. The test has been conducted in a NABL accredited lab ensuring only the best makes the cut. Here’s a report.

A Consumer Voice Report

Instant noodle is a ready to cook and consumable product prepared from wheat flour or other flours as the main ingredient. Instant noodle is characterised by the use of pregelatinization and dehydration processes either by frying in any oil or fat. Such products then get presented as fried noodles or non-fried noodles.

“Instant Noodle,” gets prepared with wheat flour or rice flour or flour of any other cereals, millets and legumes with or without the addition of herbs, condiments and seasoning, spices, iodised salt, sugar, wheat gluten by kneading the dough. It may be added with starches, dried fruits and vegetables, or their products or extracts, nuts, edible protein and egg powder, meat, poultry, marine or their products if required.

Types of Instant Noodles

Normal noodles are mostly made of maida (the fine product made by milling or grinding wheat). Atta noodles are made of atta (the coarse flour product obtained by milling or grinding wheat). Atta contains more dietary fibres than maida. Fibre helps in better digestion and therefore, atta noodles are considered better than maida noodles. Yet, we also now have oats noodles in the market.

How we test

The testing has been conducted following the FSSAI standard/regulations; besides, consumer centric tests and product claims. As mentioned above, we have selected a NABL accredited lab for the product testing to maintain all fairness.

Brands Tested

We singled out the following five instant masala noodles brands for comparative testing. The table below is to tell you succinctly which brand scored the highest.

RankOverall Score (rounded off out of 100)BrandMRP (Rs)Net weight (in grams)MRP
per 100
gm,
Rs.
Best Before, monthsMarketer /Manufacturer
192Maggie127017.149Nestle India Limited
286Wai Wai 6036016.669CG Foods
286Top Ramen6442015.2410Indo Nissan Food Pvt Ltd
286Smith Jones6836018.889Capital Food Pvt Ltd
384Snac Tac70 (buy one get one free)30023.339Reliance India Limited

Note: Snac tac has “buy one get one free” offer. Hence its effective price is Rs.35 for 300 gm

CV Recommendations

Top Performer

Maggi

Value for Money Brand

Top Ramen

Key findings

  • Brand Maggi has been ranked number 1 followed by Wai Wai, Top Ramen and Smith & Jones.
  • Our Value for Money brand is Top
  • Lowest saturated fat has been found in Maggi followed by Snac tac and Smith & Jones.
  • Lowest sodium content has been found in Maggi and highest in Wai Wai.
  • Highest protein has been found in Maggi and lowest in Snac tac.
  • Maggi also scored the highest in sensory panel tests followed by Smith & Jones and Top Ramen.
  • Trans fat has been found highest in Top Ramen and lowest in Smith & Jones but well within the standard limit.
  • Toxic metals, such as lead, arsenic, mercury and aflatoxin have been found well within the specified limits thus the products are safe for
  • Here’s a word of caution for consumers: As noodles are added with saturated fat and salt, hence, limited consumption is suggested.

Test results

Comparative performance of instant masala noodles

Brand Parameter
Wt. %MaggiWai WaiTop RamenSmith & Jones
Snac tac
Physico-chemical tests
Moisture54.204.854.304.334.03
Carbohydrate32.692.632.972.792.55
Total protein109.858.508.508.357.30
Fat54.144.604.084.284.32
Saturated fat53.602.902.703.003.40
Trans fat54.604.903.105.004.90
Energy43.263.883.313.463.17
Acid insoluble ash76.445.886.863.927.00
Sodium (as Na)43.722.743.723.163.16
Acid value of extracted fat77.06.586.726.025.46
Lead21.71.21.81.81.5
Arsenic22.02.02.02.02.0
Mercury22.02.02.02.02.0
Total aflatoxin32.02.01.912.01.93
Net Weight22.01.942.02.02.0
Cooking time43.603.523.603.603.20
Sensory panel tests2524.0621.1921.6823.2021.12

Test Parameters

Sensory Panel Test | Acid Value of Extracted Fat| Acid insoluble ash| Total Protein| Fat| Trans Fat| Saturated Fat| Moisture| Energy Value| Total Carbohydrate| Cooking Time| Total Aflatoxin| Net Weight| | Sodium| Mercury| Arsenic| Lead| Marking |Packaging

EVALUATION OF TEST RESULTS

Sensory panel tests

This is a very important parameter where subjective panel tests have been conducted in a laboratory, based on their critical examination and opinion of panelists. During this test, we determine the overall sensory quality of the product. We conducted the sensory tests against colour and appearance, flavour/ aroma, taste and after taste, texture and overall acceptability. These tests have been done in the lab involving panel members under the supervision of trained experts. The average score of all the panel members have been given in the below tables.

Overall score obtained on sensory panel tests 

The noodle shall be of good characteristic colour, appearance, texture, aroma and taste and shall be free from undesirable taste, dirt, insect’s larvae and impurities or any other extraneous matter.

S.noBrandsOverall Score ou of 25
1Maggi24.06
2Smith Jones23.20
3Top Ramen21.68
4Wai Wai21.19
5Snac tac21.12

Maggi performed on top followed by Smith & Jones and Top Ramen. Maggi performed highest score in all the sensory attributes and preferred by the panelists.

Acid value of extracted fat

Determination of acid value is used as a general indication of the condition and edibility of oils. Acid value shall not be more than 2.0. Acid value of Maggi was lowest and it was highest in Snac tac but within the specified limit.

Acid insoluble ash (on dry matter basis)

Acid insoluble ash indicates the presence of impurities i.e. dirt and dust. As per FSSAI, acid insoluble ash content should not be more than 0.3 per cent by mass. All the brands have been found with acid insoluble ash well within the prescribed limit of 0.3 per cent by mass. However, the substance has been found lowest in Snac tac followed by Top Ramen.

Total protein (N x 6.25), percentage by mass

Higher protein intake is beneficial for health and it is an essential nutrient in diet. Protein plays an important role in the cellular maintenance, growth, and functioning of the human body. Protein is generally considered good. Highest protein has been found in Maggi and lowest in Snac tac.

Trans fat

Trans fat is double trouble for the health of the heart. It increases bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol in the body. Just like saturated fats, they also raise the level of “bad” cholesterol in our blood. Trans fat has been found between 0.01 to 0.20 per cent. It has been found highest in Top Ramen and lowest in Smith & Jones.

Fat

Fat is a main source of energy. Fats should be largely consumed in the unsaturated form. The consumption of unsaturated fatty acids especially mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids should be encouraged in everyday diets. As per the dietary guide lines, adults with sedentary lifestyle should consume about 25 gm/day of visible fat, while individuals involved in hard physical work require 30-40-gms/day of visible fat. No requirement has been specified in national standard. Fat has been found between 15.4 to 18.0 per cent by mass. Highest fat has been found in Wai Wai and lowest in Top Ramen.

Saturated fat

While consuming healthy fats is a good idea, most instant noodles are high in saturated fat, which is directly tied to coronary heart disease and strokes. Take one look at the total grams of fat on the nutritional label, and you’ll find that about half of the total fat in noodles is saturated fat. There is no requirement specified in national standard. We’ve found lowest saturated fat in Maggi followed by Snac tac and Smith & Jones. We found highest saturated fat in Top Ramen.

PHYSICO-CHEMICAL TESTS

Moisture percentage by mass

Moisture shall be within the specified limit (10 per cent maximum) as per the FSSAI regulation. Higher content of moisture may spoil the product. As per the FSSAI regulation, moisture content in instant noodle should not be more than 10 per cent in fried noodles and 13 per cent in non-fried noodles. All the brands have been found well within the prescribed limit. We’ve found the moisture content lowest in Wai Wai and highest in Snac tac, however, they are well within limit.

Energy value

The energy value of a food indicates its value to the body as a fuel. Energy value is the number of calories which our body obtains from the foods. There is no requirement prescribed in Indian standard. We’ve found it highest in Wai Wai and lowest in Snac tac.

Total Carbohydrate

Carbohydrate is the source of energy. However, the national standards do not suggest its inclusion in noodles. We found it highest in Top Ramen and lowest in Snac tac.

Cooking time

We cooked the noodles following given instructions on the product labels. We calculated the cooking time excluding time required for boiling of water. It may be noted that all the brands have declared the cooking time in the range of 2 to 3 minutes, excluding time for boiling water. Maggi, Top Ramen and Smith & Jones took least time (3 mins) in cooking and Snac tac took highest time (4 mins).

Total Aflatoxin

Aflatoxins are highly toxic compounds and can cause both acute and chronic toxicity in humans. It shall be 30 µg/kg maximum. We detected it in Top Ramen and Snac tac, but well within the specified limit.

Sodium (as Na), percentage by mass

Sodium is a mineral commonly referred as salt. Sodium is a naturally occurring mineral found in many different 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. WHO’s recommendation on sodium consumption for adults is 2-g sodium/day (equivalent to 5-g salt/day). Excess sodium intake is an important determinant of hypertension and cardio-vascular (CV) risk. We found sodium highest in Wai Wai and lowest in Maggi.

Net weight

Net weight of a product should be as per the declaration and shall not exceed the tolerance limit of legal metrology.

Net weight in all brands except Wai Wai has been 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.

Lead (as Pb)

Lead is a toxicant that affects multiple body systems, including your liver and kidneys in particular. It is especially harmful to infant and pregnant women as it can cause damage to the central nervous system in children. It shall be not more than 2.5-mg/kg. Lead has been found between 0.2 to 0.8-mg/kg. However, all the brands have been found well within the specified standard limit.

Arsenic (as As)

Arsenic can have immediate toxic effects. Ingestion of large amounts can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as severe vomiting, disturbances of the blood and circulation, damage to the nervous system, and eventually death. It shall not be more than 1.1-mg/kg. All brands we found below the detection limit (LOQ-0.1mg/kg).

Mercury (as Hg)

The inhalation of mercury can cause neurological and behavioural disorders, such as tremors, emotional instability, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular changes and headaches. They can also harm the kidneys and thyroid. High exposures can lead to death.

It shall not be more than 1.0mg/kg. All brands have mercury level below the detection limit (LOQ-0.1mg/ kg).

Packing

The material shall be packed in moisture- proof material or in suitable plastic film or moisture proof bags sealed to prevent ingress of moisture. The material has been packed in poly packs and sealed to prevent ingress of moisture.

Marking

Each container shall be legibly and indelibly marked with the following:

  1. Name of the material
  2. Name and address of the manufacturer/ packer
  3. Batch or code number
  4. Net weight
  5. Date of manufacturer
  6. Green/red dot mark
  7. Nutritional information
  8. Best Before
  9. MRP
  10. Direction for preparation
  11. List of ingredients
  12. FSSAI license number
  13. Customer care details

We found all brands with necessary marking requirements.

Conclusion: We purchased five brands of instant masala noodles from the retail markets. We tested the brands on various parameters including total protein, acid-insoluble ash, acid value, fat, carbohydrate, cooking time, sodium and toxic metals. We assigned high weightage (25 per cent) to the sensory tests which includes colour/appearance, taste, flavour/aroma, texture and overall acceptance parameters.

Brand Maggi has topped in overall score and therefore ranked number 1 followed by Wai Wai, Top Ramen and Smith & Jones. Maggi was mostly preferred in sensory panel tests followed by Smith & Jones and Top Ramen. Toxic metals as lead, arsenic and aflatoxin have been found well within the specified limits. All the brands have met the standard requirement. However, as noodles are added with saturated fat and salt, limited consumption is suggested.

Related

Pros and Cons of Surface Cleaners

Pros and Cons of Surface Cleaners

Pros and Cons of Surface Cleaners

Pros-Cons-Surface-Cleaners

The harmful effects of surface cleaners make many people wonder even if they should use surface cleaners every day. If you are one such person who uses surface cleaners on a daily basis, then you should know that there are two main categories of surface cleaners, ammonia-based surface cleaners, and environment-friendly surface cleaners. There are less harmful effects of surface cleaners that are environment-friendly, but they are costlier. Know more about this and other pros and cons of surface cleaners’ right here.

PROS OF AMMONIA-BASED SURFACE CLEANERS

INEXPENSIVE

Ammonia-based surface cleaners are inexpensive and easily available everywhere.

EASY TO MAKE

You can even buy it in concentrated form and dilute it with water to save more money.

GREAT TO USE

Ammonia-based surfaced cleaners work great on steel and glass surfaces. They are also excellent for getting rid of stubborn soap scum and wax buildup on floors.

CONS OF AMMONIA-BASED SURFACE CLEANERS

HEALTH THREAT

The harmful effects of surface cleaners created by ammonia are well-documented. If the ammonia is not diluted and comes in contact with skin, mouth, eyes, or stomach, it can do some harm.

NOT SUITABLE FOR MIXING

Never mix ammonia-based cleaners with a liquid containing bleach, oxidants, mercury or iodine salts as it can lead to the formation of toxic gas of explosive compound.

NOT FOR HARDWOOD

These surface cleaners are not recommended for hardwood as they can do damage.

PROS OF ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY CLEANERS

NO SIDE EFFECTS

There are no harmful effects of surface cleaners that are environment-friendly because they don’t have toxic ingredients like ammonia, methyl chloride, nonoxynols, etc. All the ingredients are natural in origin. Examples include enzymes, citric acid, and lactic acid.

LESS TRACE

Environment-friendly surface cleaners leave less trace in water and soil as compared to other cleaners and hence are less harmful to the ecosystem.

MINIMAL IRRITATION

Environment-friendly surface cleaners rarely irritate your skin or the respiratory system. As ammonia-based surface cleaners are often hated for this one among the harmful effects of surface cleaners, people with sensitive skin or vulnerable respiratory system often seek environment-friendly options.

CONS OF ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY SURFACE CLEANERS

COSTLY

The cost of these types of surface cleaners is often higher than ammonia-based surface cleaners. They are also often hard to find in the local stores.

LESS EFFECTIVENESS

If you are working on removing tough stains with these surface cleaners, you will need to put in more effort and time as compared to ammonia-based cleaners. A solution to this could be to clean regularly and not let the stains get old.

After analyzing the properties of two main categories of surface cleaners, and having a look and pros and cons of surface cleaners, it can be concluded that environment-friendly surface cleaners are a good investment as the harmful effects of surface cleaners are minimal there. Adopt them for a happier and safer cleaning experience.

Related

Types of Surface Cleaners

Types of Surface Cleaners

Types of Surface Cleaners

Types of surface cleaners

Many people are curious about the types of surface cleaners available in the market and why they should use them. If you are one such person and you also want to know the importance and usefulness of surface cleaners then do read on.

THE PERCEPTION CHANGE

Only a few years back, surface cleaners were considered something of a luxury by most people in India and they depended on water, detergents, soap water or phenyl to clean surfaces. Only the people belonging to developed nations used it daily. But now, with the changing of times, Indian perceptions have changed, and more and more households are making use of surface cleaners. The market has a good growth rate, and this has encouraged international surface cleaner brands to seek customers in India.

THE FUTURE

Indians are realizing the importance of cleanliness and hygiene, and most people want to buy surface cleaners to get shiny surfaces and eliminate dust, dirt, and bacteria. According to a report, the surface cleaners’ market in India has been growing at 17 percent CAGR since last five years. It is expected the growth will be in double digits in the next few years.

TYPES OF SURFACE CLEANERS

Though there are many types of surface cleaners in India, the key types of surface cleaners are floor cleaners, multipurpose cleaners, and specialized cleaners. What are they and why they are important? Know right here.

  • Floor Cleaners

As the name suggests, these cleaners are used to clean the floors. They are usually easily accepted and regularly used by Indian consumers because they keep every floor clean and shiny. These types of surface cleaners are dominating the Indian surface cleaning market right now.

  • Multipurpose Cleaners

The name of these types of surface cleaners is also clear enough. These cleaners are good because they can be used for various purposes. They can clean everything from the kitchen shelves to the mirror and from the antique pieces to furniture.

  • Specialized Cleaners

These cleaners are usually divided into sub-segments like glass cleaners, furniture cleaners, appliances cleaners, etc. The key aim of these types of surface cleaners is to keep a specific surface clean, shiny and bacteria-free.

THE KEY PLAYERS

Key companies that offer various types of surface cleaners in India are Dabur India, Fena, Hindustan Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Jyothy Laboratories, SC Johnson, Future Consumer Enterprise, and Venky’s. Some of the most popular products are Lizol, Colin, Dettol, Domex, Cif, Mr. Muscle, Dazzl and Easy Off Bang.

AVAILABILITY

The surface cleaners in India are usually sold in urban markets, malls, and hypermarkets. Local stores usually don’t store them on shelves due to high pricing and low probability of selling. Though most types of surface cleaners in India are available online, the online sales of grocery items are quite low in India. The adoption of different types of surface cleaners in Indian villages and towns is expected to increase but not too rapidly.

Related

Things credit card companies do not want you to know

Things credit card companies do not want you to know

Things credit card companies do not want you to know

Credit Card Companies

You and your credit card are inseparable. Right from paying for your groceries, to your child’s school fees or for your movie tickets or flight bookings, credit cards are no longer a status symbol but a necessity. As a result we have enslaved ourselves with the credit card. But there are things credit card companies don’t want you to know. But the fact is you are the boss of the credit card issuer and not the other way around. And to top it all, if you have a good credit score, you are in control of your credit destiny. Credit card features like APR, credit card payment, and credit card offers should be clear before you opt for the best credit card.

  • EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE

When applying for a credit card you can actually negotiate for a lower APR or annual percentage rate. One can also adjust our due date depending upon your cash flow. Though it is in the hands of the credit card company to give you a lower APR, but you can always ask for one as these days the market is very competitive and the customer is the boss.

  • FIXED RATE ISN’T REALLY FIXED

This is actually fine print which we often tend to miss. Issuers can raise your APR whenever they choose. You should be notified about the increase in interest rate but ensure that you receive your mails on time and remember to check them regularly.

  • YOUR APR CAN BE RAISED IF YOU ARE LATE ON ANY BILL NOT ONLY ON CREDIT CARD BILL

Don’t forget that your credit card company monitors your credit report regularly and if you are late on any bill or faltered on any payment, your APR will be increased.

  • CASH ADVANCES ARE NOT WORTH IT

You are sometimes lured by credit card companies that you can take cash advances but what they might not reveal that APR for a cash advance is usually very high. Cash advances often lead to debt and then the issuer makes interest off your balance for a very long time.

  • PAYING OFF EARLY WILL NOT HARM YOUR CREDIT SCORE

The thumb rule is paying off your balance on time and f possible early. Pay off your due on the same day or at the end of every month whichever is convenient, so that you can keep a track of your transactions and balance in our savings account.

  • MINIMUM PAYMENT IS NOT FOR YOUR BENEFIT

The minimum payment is to the benefit of the company and not yours. This is the worst secret never disclosed to you. The longer you stay in debt, the more interest credit card companies can charge, and the more money they make. The companies make the maximum profit out of these low payments.

  • YOUR REWARDS PROGRAM CAN CHANGE ANYTIME

You are at times lured to a particular credit card company because of the attractive credit card offers. But these programs may change anytime and the fine is often confusing to analyse. Moreover, these reward programs might not benefit you in the long run.

You must also know the types of credit card frauds and credit card tips for smart users in order to use credit card to best of your advantage,

Consumer VOICE experts compared credit cards on basis of credit card interest rates, best credit card deals and other parameters to list the best credit card. 

Types of Credit Card Frauds

Types of Credit Card Frauds

Types of Credit Card Frauds

credit card frauds

If you are a credit card owner there is a chance that you may be subject to credit card frauds like thousands of others around the world. Use of credit cards around the world has increased over the years. Online payments and electronic transfers have led to the increased use of credit cards over the years and with it, credit card frauds have also doubled. Though banks and payment industries have created new technologies like secured payment gateways and innovations to combat fraudsters, yet consumers are not informed of credit card frauds and how to protect themselves against it.

There are two main types of Frauds

Card- Not- Present (CNP) Frauds

The most common type of fraud is the Card Not Present fraud or CNP fraud. This occurs when the customer does not present the card physically to the customer or to any credit card machine but the card holder’s information is still stolen and used illegally. Card-not- present fraud can occur when a fraudster gets hold of a cardholder’s name, billing address, account number, three-digit security code and card expiration date which can be stolen electronically, without obtaining the physical card. Card not present fraud occurs online or over the phone. It may also be a result of phising emails sent by fraudsters to steal personal or financial information through an infected link.

Card-Present Frauds

This type of fraud takes place when the credit card is physically presented to the merchant during the transaction and takes the form of skimming. Once that data is used on credit card machines to make a purchase, the consumer’s account is charged. These frauds have relatively come down over the years and it is easier to detect because the merchant can match the signature and observe the behavior of the customer as well. Some of the signs that one can look for to identify possible card-present fraud are when a consumer purchases many items without caring about their price or style, when a consumer hurriedly rushes to complete the
transaction or making bulk purchases.

Apart from being cautious about credit card frauds, you must also know credit card tips for smart users so as to make it a more effective financial tool rather than a liability.

Some Other Ways of Credit Card Frauds
  • Card Cloning : A common way of credit card fraud is card cloning with the use of
  • Card Skimmer. This is a device that is used by criminals to record all the data on the card so that money can be siphoned off easily from the account. Fraudsters fit skimmers in ATM machines which scan all the data of the card and makes clones.
  • Card Trapping: This happens when the card that you insert in the machine gets trapped and you retrieve it only later. Your card can be misused in the mean time.

Consumer VOICE experts compared credit cards on basis of credit card interest rates, best credit card deals and other parameters to list the best credit card

Related