BPOM Answers Rumor on Carcinogenic Substances in Instant Noodle

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A recent circulated Whatsapp chain message caused quite a stir when it suggested that instant noodle contained carcinogenic substances. The message quoted a research conducted by the Korea Food and Administration (KFDA) which reported that Benzopyrene was found in the ingredient of a Korean instant noodle brand.

    The National Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) responded to the issue. "We did not find any direct links suggesting that instant noodles [in Indonesia] contain carcinogenic substances,” said BPOM's acting deputy of food monitoring Tetty H. Sihombing on Saturday, Sept. 8. 

    He further elaborated in his text message to Tempo that monosodium glutamate (MSG), Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate, and benzoic acid, were a number of substances rumored to be equally dangerous. 

    Read: Indonesia Named 2nd Biggest Consumer of Instant Noodles

    MSG is known to be a chemical that concentrates taste which has an unspecified acceptable daily intake (ADI) while Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate is a regulated preservative that is allowed to be mixed in food products.

    “However, there are several pieces of data suggesting that several people would be overly sensitive toward MSG consumption. Up until this moment, there has yet been any scientific proof of MSG and Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate posing dangers for human intestines, liver, or stomach ulcer,” Tetty explained.

    Regarding the original Whatsapp chain message, Tetty maintained that people do not need to worry about consuming instant noodle products that are sold in the Indonesian market, even though he reminded people to consume it in a wise number.