Life Cycle of Instant Ramen Noodles

by melmalithong
Last updated 6 years ago

Cycles & Processes

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Life Cycle of Instant Ramen Noodles

The process repeats to develop gluten more easily as the sheet folds and passes through the rollers several times. This creates the stringy & chewy texture found in instant noodles

Noodles made of wheat, flour and other wheats such as buckwheat

The Life Cycle of Instant Ramen noodles

Flour, starch, water, salt and/or a salt substitue known as Kansui

Starts by dissolving salt, starch, and flavoring in water to form mixture which is added to the flour.

The dough is left for a period of time to mature. then it is kneaded. After it is kneaded, the dough gets made into two sheets compounded into one single noodle belt by being put through two rotating rolls

When the noodle belt is made to the desired thickness by adjusting the gap in the rolls, it is then cut right away. Wavy noodles are made in a slow paced conveyor belt and are hindered by metal weights when coming out of the slitter which gives the noodle its wavy appearance.

If the strands are to be molded into other shapes, liquid seasoning could be added as well. Once the noodles are shaped, it is ready to be steamed for 1–5 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius to improve its texture by gelatinizing the starch of the noodles.

By Melodie Malithong, Giselle Romero

Next, noodles can be dried in one of two ways: by frying or by hot air drying. Fried instant noodles are dried by oil frying for 1–2 minutes at a temperature of 140-160 degrees Celsius. The frying process decreases the moisture content from 30-50% to 2-5%.

Air-dried noodles are dried for 30–40 minutes in hot air at a temperature of 70-90 degrees Celsius, resulting in a moisture content of 8-12%. The heat from either drying process will further add to the porous texture of the noodles by gelatinizing the starch even more.

More than 80% of instant noodles are fried as it gives more evenly dried noodles than hot air drying which can cause an undesired texture in finished noodles, and also taking longer time to cook. However, with fried noodles, the oil content is about 15-20% and decreases the shelf life of the noodles due to oxidation whereas in hot air-dried noodles it has only 3% oil content maximum.

Before packaging with seasoning, the noodles are cooled after drying, and its quality of moisture, color, and shape are checked. Packaging of the noodles include films impermeable to air and water. There are two forms of packaged instant noodles, one in a bag with the provided seasoning in small sachets inside, or in a cup with seasoning on the top of the noodles.

There are many flavors of noodles depending on which ones are added to the seasoning: beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, oriental, etc. In instant noodle cups, soy protein and dehydrated vegetables and meats are often added for further flavor.The shelf life of instant noodles ranges from 4–12 months, depending on environmental factors.Instant noodles can be served after 1–2 minutes in boiled water or soaked in hot water for 3–4 minutes.



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