Publication Details

Farrand, C., Charlton, K., Crino, M., Santos, J., Rodriguez-Fernandez, R., Webster, J. & Mhurchu, C. Ni. (2017). Know Your Noodles! Assessing Variations in Sodium Content of Instant Noodles across Countries. Nutrients, 9 (6), 612-1-612-10.


Reducing salt intake is a cost-effective public health intervention to reduce the global burden of non-communicable disease (NCDs). Ultra-processed foods contribute ~80% of dietary salt in high income countries, and are becoming prominent in low-middle income countries. Instant noodle consumption is particularly high in the Asia Pacific region. The aim of this study was to compare the sodium content of instant noodles sold worldwide to identify potential for reformulation. Analysis was undertaken for 765 instant noodle products from 10 countries using packaged food composition databases of ultra-processed foods compiled by the Global Food Monitoring Group (GFMG) and national shop survey data. Sodium levels were high and variable, within and between countries. Instant noodles in China had the highest mean sodium content (1944 mg/100 g, range: 397-3678/100 g) compared to New Zealand (798 mg/100 g, range: 249-2380 mg/100 g). Average pack size ranged from 57 g (Costa Rica) to 98 g (China). The average packet contributed 35% to 95% of the World Health Organization recommended daily salt intake of (PICs) regional sodium targets, 37% met the South Africa 2016 targets, and 62% met the UK 2017 targets. This study emphasises a need for stronger regulation and closer monitoring to drive rigorous reformulation of salt in ultra-processed foods.



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