The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sharp increase in the demand for instant noodles around the world. The consumption demand of this product surged by 14.79 per cent year-on-year in 2020.

Statistics show the Asian market was the biggest consumer of this product, accounting for 56.45 per cent of the total global instant noodle consumption last year, especially in Northeast Asian countries such as China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.

With the five main markets, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, the Southeast Asian region accounted for 25.24 per cent of the total demand.

To many who have been lees able to access our favourite street food vendor, instant noodles have been a lifesaver; without them, curfew nights would be Less palatable, the kitchen empty and their lives incomplete.

Here’re some facts about instant noodles you should know before cooking your next Michellin-starred instant noodles at home.

The worst thing about instant noodles isn’t the calories or the MSG..We’ve all heard stories about how unhealthy instant noodles are, and most would expect this to be about the MSG or the empty calories. While these are worrying (although you can always add an egg or some left-overs from the fridge), what’s worst is the sodium content. 

While it depends on the brand of the instant noodles, many have very high sodium content.  Many packs contain a whopping amount of around 2,000 mg of sodium when it is recommended to have more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day.

Consuming too much sodium increases your risk of heart failure, osteoporosis, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Someone put a small camera inside the stomach and it turns out that it takes two hours for instant noodles to be ingested.  This wasn’t a scientific breakthrough, but it created quite a hoo-ha on the Internet a few years back.  The instant noodles you’ve consumed an hour ago are still intact in your stomach.

Technically, instant noodles are already cooked, having them “raw” isn’t too much of a health issue, but more of an issue for the palate; they just don’t taste that good.  However some have found that they enjoy them as a snack, much like potato chips. The noodles are broken up and eaten straight from the package or sprinkled on top of salads. Since the noodles are already cooked, it is totally safe to eat this way.

Here’s one interesting takeaway: instant noodles are sexist.  No, we’re not talking about the colour of the packaging that seems to appeal to only one gender, but the long-term health effects .  According to a Harvard University study, women have a 68% higher risk of metabolic syndrome if they have instant noodles twice a week; but not men.

Scientists aren’t certain why that is so, but some of them think that the results could be due to the female subjects reporting their diet more accurately or that they count the servings more precisely.

Many of us have this misconception: since it’s instant noodles, it can last forever in our cabinet.  The shelf life is actually just 4 to 12 months, so it’s actually better to stock up canned food instead of instant noodles.

Have you ever wondered why it takes three minutes to cook a pack of instant noodles?  They were invented in 1958, so there must have been many R&D to lower the cooking time; but it seems that isn’t really desirable. 

Rumour has it that companies once did an experiment:  They had 1-min instant noodles, but because that’s so fast, people didn’t buy them as they somehow didn’t feel hungry.  Three minutes is the perfect timing, as it makes the person hungry during that waiting time.  You see, that three minutes aren’t for you to cook the noodles, it’s for you to get hungry, even if you’re not.