Joint Consumer Council's Article Series on Nutrition Labelling
Launching Article: Instant Noodles

The new Nutrition Labelling Regulation will come into force on 1 July 2010 . The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) and the Consumer Council (CC) are launching a new article series to facilitate consumers in making good use of nutrition labels to choose healthier prepackaged food products. In this launching article, we will demonstrate how useful nutrition label 1+7 can be when we come to choosing instant noodles for our family.


2. In Hong Kong , the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) (Amendment: Requirements for Nutrition Labelling and Nutrition Claim) Regulation 2008 ("the Amendment Regulation") will come into force on 1 July 2010 . Upon that time, all applicable prepackaged food products will have to provide nutrition labels setting out the contents of "1+7" (i.e. energy plus 7 nutrients specified for labelling, namely protein, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, carbohydrates, sugars and sodium).

3. As instant noodles are often deep-fried in oil (especially palm oil), and its seasoning contains salt and/or other sauces, they generally have relatively high levels of sodium, total fat and saturated fat. In view of this, this study focuses on the contents of these three nutrients.

4. Eating too much sodium increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations suggest that sodium intake should be less than 2000 mg (or 5g of salt, i.e. about 1 level teaspoon of salt) a day.

5. Eating too much fat is linked to increased risk of overweight and obesity whereas eating too much saturated fat increases the risk of developing heart diseases. WHO and FAO suggest that the intake of total fat and saturated fat should be 15-30% and less than 10%, respectively, of the daily energy intake. For example, an individual with a daily energy intake of 2000 kcal should limit the intake of total fat to not more than 60 g (about 4 tablespoons of oil) whereas the intake of saturated fat should be less than 20 g a day.

The study

6. A total of 48 instant noodle samples (including 25 bag type instant noodles袋裝即食麵 , 18 cup noodles杯麵 and 5 sauce-mixing type instant noodles即食撈麵) were collected from supermarkets and grocery shops, and the information listed on the nutrition labels was examined. All noodle samples came with seasoning, and the energy and nutrient values listed on the nutrition labels were based on the content of the whole product, i.e. noodles as well as seasoning.

7. Salient findings of the study are summarised below:

A summary of result is listed in the following table:

  No. of samples odium range (mg/100g) Total fat range (g/100g) aturated fat range (g/100g)
Bag type instant noodles 25 840-3133 0-23.7 0-12.2
Cup noodles 18 881-5800 5.8-30.5 1.1-12
Sauce-mixing type instant noodles 5 834-1547 12-24.5 5-10.1
Overall 48 834-5800 0-30.5 0-12.2

Advice to the Public


March 2010
Risk Communication Section
Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department