Is There Wax in Instant Noodles

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Instant noodles. Every uni student's BFF. Every OT warrior's essential.

Many of us adore instant noodles, but health scares like instant noodles having wax keep us away. Will there be a lining of wax in your stomach? Will you get cancer? We investigate if this myth is true.

In the year 2000, an email went viral across Asia about a boy who had died from eating too much instant noodles. One day at a doctor’s appointment, they found out that his stomach was full of wax. The boy underwent an operation to remove the wax layer, but he didn’t survive it.

People today still believe in this story. Some even boil their instant noodles twice - the first time to remove the wax.

It’s believed that the wax prevents the noodles from sticking together when cooked. When eaten, the wax gets stuck in our stomachs. The wax build-up may even result in cancer.

So is it true that instant noodles are deadly, silent killers? Let’s get into the facts.

There’s actually no wax in instant noodles at all. But then, how do we still get our noodles separated into nice, individual strands?

The magic ingredient isn’t wax, it’s palm oil. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil collected from the fruit of West African oil palm. AND it is 100% safe to eat.

The waviness of instant noodles also prevents the strands from sticking together. Boiling water can easily pass through the gaps between the strands. This keeps the noodles nice and separated.

But just to entertain the wax theory… Would anything happen if wax entered our bodies? The short answer is no. The truth is, we might’ve been eating harmless wax all along.

Sometimes, food-grade wax is manually applied to fruits and vegetables. This increases their storage life and makes them look shiny. Because it’s produced naturally, food-grade wax is completely safe to eat. The Carnauba Palm  [produces Carnauba wax] from Brazil and the female lac bug [produces Shellac wax] from the rainforests of India and Thailand both produce FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] approved wax.

See, we shouldn’t be so scared of wax. Even if there was wax on our instant noodles, it’ll just be pushed through our digestive system and passed out!

The fact is that instant noodles do not have cancer-causing wax. But still, try not to have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As every wise Asian mother likes to say, ‘Don’t eat too much instant noodles or your hair will drop!’.

The seasoning for instant noodles contains a lot of sodium. Too much of it and you’ll be at risk for high blood pressure and stroke.

In 2018, a student in Taiwan died from eating instant noodles every day for a few years. Cause of death? Stage four stomach cancer. Too much salt damages your stomach lining, causing ulcers to form. These ulcers will then develop into stomach cancer.

When eaten in moderation, instant noodles are mostly harmless. Ingredients like eggs and vegetables can be added for a more balanced meal. The health issues related to instant noodles are not related to wax at all.

Now go ahead, share the good news and stop boiling your instant noodles twice.