Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Lesson Learned

For lunch today I had a packet of "Ko-Lee instant noodles", vegetable flavour. I had a brief look at the list of ingredients, and they are as follows;
Wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt, flour treatment agent (E500, E501, E451), thickener (E412), antioxidant (E306). Salt, dried vegetables, flavour enhancers (E621, E627, E631), starch, sugar, spicy.
I was wondering what all those E's were so I had a look and found out the Food Additives and Ingredients website, where I found out that:

E500 = Sodium carbonates, which could be any or any combinations of, (i) Sodium carbonate, (ii) Sodium hydrogen carbonate, or (iii) Sodium sesquicarbonate. That doesn't sound so bad.

E501 = Potassium carbonates, which could be any or any combinations of, (i) Potassium carbonate, or (ii) Potassium hydrogen carbonate. That doesn't sound so bad either.

E541 = Sodium aluminium phosphate, acidic. Aluminium and its acidic, that doesn't sound so good. This required some more research, which revealed ... "Chemical names - Sodium trialuminium tetradecahydrogen octaphosphate tetrahydrate or trisodium dialuminium pentadecahydrogen octaphosphate", hmmm let's read some more, "Purity - Arsenic: Not more than 3 mg/kg. Lead: Not more than 10 mg/kg. Heavy metals: Not more than 40 mg/kg". Now I'm no food or medical expert but Arsenic, Lead & Heavy metals don't sound particularly healthy!

E412 = Guar gum. Reasearch provided "Galactomannan polymer (guar gum) is a complex carbohydrate derived from the seed of specially grown bean plants. This carbohydrate is a long chain linear molecule with a molecular weight of approximately 1 million. The long polymer chains attract and weakly capture water; as well as physically tangle with one another in solution thus producing viscosity when mixed with water.", sounds okay to eat.

E306 = Tocopherol-rich extract. All I could find was contains a source of fibre and magnesium, and is suitable for vegetarians.", which doesn't sound too bad.

E621 = Monosodium glutamate. Yum, yum, yum. A bit more reading revealed... "In its pure form it appears as a white crystalline powder; when dissolved in water (or saliva) it rapidly dissociates into free sodium and glutamateions (glutamate is the anionic form of glutamic acid)." Don't really care because it makes everything taste yum yum yum.

E627 = Disodium guanylate. More sodium, not too bad, read a little more... "Disodium guanylate is a flavor enhancer derived from dried fish or dried seaweed. It is a by-product of disodium inosinate." Dried fish or dried seaweed!!! Nowhere on the packaging did it say that this product may contain fish!

E631 = Disodium inosinate. Even more sodium, I can feel the blood pressure rising already. A bit more reading revealed.. "usually made from meat (especially sardines or other fish), may trigger gout, not permitted in foods for infants or young children". Gout!!! WTF!

Well I've learned my lesson, namely, never buy cheap shit from the supermarket if you intend to eat it as it will be packed full of shit you can't spell or hides behind a benign E-label but will probably give you strange ailments or kill you.

5 Comments:

Blogger Andy said...

This is both informative and hilarious! Thanks for the link, but I'm afraid I can't give up on instant noodles :-P

6/10/05 14:11  
Anonymous comfort fit said...

You dont get much more yum yum yum than good ol' MSG...

which i think should be renamed from monosodium glutamate to "MicroScopic Gash-paste" considering the excellent job it does of slicing up your tongue (and subsequently your stomach) in order to maximise the full enjoyment of the food.


I also propose the introduction of a new "flavour enhancer" in the form of fibreglass shavings! The ultimate in tongue cutting for pleasure!

6/10/05 14:57  
Blogger Sam said...

I went to a bar in London that served vodka with gold shavings in it to help you get that little bit tipsier that little bit quicker by shredding the inside of your oesophagus. Lovely.

Thankyou, I shall now shop with care. (what is MSG, anyway? Am I missing some scientific in-joke?)

10/10/05 11:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I was reading this while eating my 'Pot - Noodles', I wasn't too put off until I reached the 'Gout' part now my lunch is sitting rather awkwardly in my stomach. I will never eat anoth er instant cheap ass noodle lunch again.

Thanks for the laugh and the information.

12/7/06 05:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch out for MSG E621 it can give you a migraine which is why chinese food gives people migraines. Also found in batter on fish at fish and chip shops. It's cheap and they throw it in by the handful. Bob

5/3/07 17:11  

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