Ramen noodles is a staple food product among college students and people looking for a quick meal on a budget. Ramen noodles are chemically preserved with TBHQ, or tertiary butylhydroquinone, which is used in a variety of foods to delay the onset of rancidness and extends the storage life of foods. TBHQ is used in crackers, crisps, fast foods, some pet foods, cosmetic and baby skincare products, varnish, lacquers and resins. The use of TBHQ and other preservatives are now being questioned as new studies show that the risks and side-effects of the TBHQ outweigh the benefit of its preservative qualities.
For the first time, a study was done to show exactly what Ramen noodles look like in the stomach over time. The results are quite shocking. A small, smart-camera about the size of a multivitamin has provided 32 hours of video after being swallowed at mealtime.
For comparison, the test subject ate a fresh, homemade noodle dish on one day and a processed Ramen noodle dish on another day. The video footage is then compared, across a time-series, as the two foods are digested in the stomach.
The processed and homemade noodles compared at the same time intervals show that the homemade noodles were significantly more broken down as compared to the processed Ramen noodles.
The study is small, and therefore can not be conclusive without further investigation on how harmful processed foods are, but it does provide very provocative footage of the slower digestive time of the processed Ramen noodle dish with the controversial preservative TBHQ.
More studies are being done to pinpoint the absorption of nutrients from processed foods versus fresh foods or the impact on the gastrointestinal track, but it is clear that the digestive time of processed foods is significantly greater.
The FDA allows only 0.02% of oils in food to be TBHQ. That is a small number at first glance, but think about it. Why would there be a need to limit the amount of a harmless additive ? TBHQ is in fact a chemical preservative which is a form of butane. That is hardly safe, no matter how small the dosage.
Some of the side effects of consuming high doses (1-4 grams) are: nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and vomiting.
Many of us have fought off hunger many a day and night eating Ramen noodles, but it is time for us to take a more critical look at what foods we put in our bodies … FDA approved or not.