Do You Know How Instant Noodle are Produced?

date: 2015-12-30    writer:diana

You may often see instant noodle in supermarket, delicious and very cheap. But you may not know how it was produced. Instant noodles are dried noodle blocks, sold with flavoring powder and seasoning oil. Dried noodle blocks can be cooked in boiling water, just need few minutes. And instant noodle become more and more populat for the convenience and good taste.

The dried noodle block was originally created by flash frying cooked noodles, and this is still the main method used in Asian countries, though air-dried noodle blocks are favoured in Western countries. Main ingredients of dried Instant noodles are wheat flour, palm oil, and salt. Common ingredients in the flavoring powder are salt, seasoning, monosodium glutamate, and sugar. Instant noodles are marketed worldwide, and was favored all over the world.
Ramen, a Japanese noodle soup, sometimes used as a descriptor for instant noodle flavors by some Japanese instant noodle manufacturers, has become synonymous in America for all instant noodle products. Specific types of noodle can be made from a mix of wheat flour and other flour such as buckwheat. There are variations to the ingredients used depending on the country of origin in terms of the salt content and the flour content.

Noodle production, with the help of instant noodle production line, begins with dissolving of salt, starch, and flavoring in water to form a mixture which is then added to the flour. And then dough is then left for some time to mature. And then send into rolling machine through rotating rollers pressing. This process is repeated to develop gluten more easily as the sheet is folded and passed through the rollers several times. This will create the stringy and chewy texture found in instant noodles. When the noodle belt is made to the desired thickness by adjusting the gap in the rollers, it is then cut right away. Wavy noodles are made in a slow paced conveyor belt and are hindered by metal weights when coming out of the slitter which gives the noodle its wavy appearance. If the strands are to be molded into other shapes, liquid seasoning could be added as well. Once the noodles are shaped, it is ready to be steamed for 1–5 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius to improve its texture by gelatinizing the starch of the noodles.
Next, noodles can be dried in one of two ways: by frying or by hot air drying. Fried instant noodles are dried by oil frying for 1–2 minutes at a temperature of 140–160 degrees Celsius. The frying process decreases the moisture content from 30–50% to 2–5%. Common oils used for frying in North America consist of canola, cottonseed and palm oil mixtures, while only palm oil or palm olein are used in Asia. Air-dried noodles are dried for 30–40 minutes in hot air at a temperature of 70–90 degrees Celsius, resulting in a moisture content of 8–12%. The heat from either drying process will further add to the porous texture of the noodles by gelatinizing the starch even more. More than 80% of instant noodles are fried as it gives more evenly dried noodles than hot air drying which can cause an undesired texture in finished noodles, and also taking longer time to cook. However, with fried noodles, the oil content is about 15–20% and decreases the shelf life of the noodles due to oxidation whereas in hot air-dried noodles it has only 3% oil content maximum.
Before packaging with seasoning, the noodles are cooled after drying, and its quality of moisture, color, and shape are checked. Packaging of the noodles include films impermeable to air and water. There are two forms of packaged instant noodles, one in a bag with the provided seasoning in small sachets inside, or in a cup with seasoning on the top of the noodles. There are a variety of flavors to the noodles depending on which ones are added to the seasoning. Such flavors include beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, oriental, etc. In instant noodle cups, soy protein and dehydrated vegetables and meats are often added for further flavor.

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