Taiwan Health Dept Finds Carcinogen In 2 Instant Noodle Brands From Malaysia & Indonesia

The department said testing detected ethylene oxide in both the noodles and flavour packet of the Malaysian product.

Cover image via Harian Metro & Taiwan News

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Taipei's Department of Health has announced that it had detected a cancer-causing substance in two instant noodle brands from Malaysia and Indonesia

According to Taiwan News, in a statement issued on Monday, 24 April, the city's health department said it made random inspections of 30 instant noodle products in supermarkets, convenience stores, traditional wet markets, Southeast Asian food stores, and wholesale importers this year.

Of the products tested, 25 were imported and five were domestically made.

The results revealed that one product each from Malaysia and Indonesia were found to contain excessive levels of ethylene oxide, making the products carcinogenic

The department explained that ethylene oxide is a chemical compound that could increase one's risk of developing lymphoma and leukaemia.

The level of ethylene oxide in these two products — Malaysian brand Ah Lai's 'White Curry Noodles' and Indonesian brand Indomie's 'Special Chicken Flavour' — exceeded the allowed pesticide residue standards set by Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The health department added that their testing detected ethylene oxide in both the noodles and flavour packet of the Malaysian product, but in only the flavour packet of the Indonesian product.

Image via Harian Metro
Image via Taiwan News

In response, the ministry has ordered for the products to be removed from store shelves immediately

The Taipei Department of Health also said the importers of the products will face fines of between TWD60,000 (RM8,680) and TWD200 million (RM29 million) for breaching the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation.

According Bernama, Taiwan's Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau under the Environmental Protection Administration also stated that ethylene oxide is poisonous when consumed or inhaled.

Aside from increasing the risk of lymphoma and leukaemia, ethylene oxide may also seriously irritate the skin and eyes of anyone who comes into contact with the substance and even trigger birth and hereditary defects.

In 2021, Hong Kong also found cancer-causing substances in 60 common brands of biscuits sold in the city:

Eat in moderation. Foods high in sugar and sodium are also known to increase health issues:

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