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Raw Material
Noodles can be made from wheat flour alone or in
combination with buckwheat flour. Wheat flour noodles
include Chinese and Japanese type noodles. There are many
varieties in each noodle type, representing different
formulation, processing and noodle quality characteristics.
Noodles containing buckwheat are also called soba, meaning
buckwheat noodle. These noodles are typically light brown or
gray in color with a unique taste and flavor. Chinese type
noodles are generally made from hard wheat flours,
characterized by bright creamy white or bright yellow color
and firm texture. Japanese noodles are typically made from
soft wheat flour of medium protein (discussed later). It is
desirable to have a creamy white color and a soft and elastic
texture in Japanese noodles.
2. Quality Requirements
In many cases, physical quality measurements of
wheat and wheat test methods are similar and
independent of end products made. For example,
wheat should be clean and sound, high in test weight,
and uniform in kernel size and hardness. These
characteristics result in efficient milling and high flour
extraction, and, possibly, optimum quality end
products. The US Federal Grain Inspection Service
grades a wheat according to the test weight, defects,
wheat of other classes present and other
contamination. The Falling Number test is done to
determine wheat sprout damage level. Wheat kernel
hardness, diameter, weight and their distribution can
be measured using a Single Kernel Characterization
System. Wheat kernel hardness deserves particular
attention since it affects the tempering conditions,
flour starch damage level, flour particle distribution
and milling yield. Damaged starch not only absorbs
more water but may also reduce noodle cooking and
eating quality. Accordingly, noodle wheat should not
be too hard, and milling processes should be
controlled to avoid excess starch damage. The
uniformity of wheat kernel hardness appeared to
improve milling performance (2). Low ash content in
flour is always an advantage
for noodles since flour ash is traditionally viewed as
causing noodle discoloration. One of the important
noodle flour specifications is ash content, although
there is no guarantee that low ash flour can always
make desirable color noodles. The presence of the
enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in the flour is
believed to be partially responsible for noodle
darkening. Thus, it may be useful to measure the
activity of this enzyme in the wheat. Wheat protein
content is often determined, and gluten strength can
be evaluated by a sedimentation test. Different noodle
types require different protein contents and dough
strength (discussed later). Generally speaking,
Chinese type noodles need hard wheat of high protein
content and strong gluten, and Japanese noodles
require soft wheat of medium protein content.

3. Salt Used
Based on the absence or presence of alkaline salt in the
formula, noodles can be classified as white (containing salt)
noodles or yellow (containing alkaline salt) noodles. Alkali
gives noodles their characteristic yellowness. White salt
noodles comprise Japanese noodles, Chinese raw noodles or
dry noodles. Chinese wet noodles, hokkien noodles,
Cantonese noodles, chuka-men, Thai bamee, and instant
noodles fall under the yellow alkaline noodle category.
4. Size
According to the width of the noodle strands, Japanese
noodles are classified into four types.
(Table I).
Name Characteristics

So-men Very thin 0.7-1.2 mm wide

Hiya-mughi Thin 1.3-1.7 mm wide

Udon Standard 1.9-3.8 mm wide

Hira-men Flat 5.0-6.0 mm wide

Since the smaller size noodles usually soften faster in

hot water than the larger size, so-men and hiya-mughi
noodles are usually served cool in the summer, and
udon and hira-men are often eaten hot in the cool
seasons. Other noodle types also have their own typical
5. Processing
The simplest way to classify noodles based on
processing is hand-made versus machine-made
noodles. This is too generalized, however. Hand-
made types, still available in Asia because of their
favorable texture, were prevalent before the automatic
noodle machine was invented in the 1950s. In some
places, stretching noodles by hand is considered an
art rather than noodle making. Noodle machines are
best suited to mass production. Noodle processing
operations include mixing raw materials, dough
sheeting, compounding, sheeting /rolling and slitting.
This series of processes remains constant among
countries for all noodle types. Noodle strands are
further processed to produce different kinds of
and this can be a means of classification
(Table II).
Noodle Type Processing
Fresh Noodle strands coming
out of slitting rolls are cut
into certain lengths for
packaging without any
further processing. Typical
examples are Chinese
raw noodles, udon
noodles, chuka-men, Thai
bamee, Cantonese
noodles and soba
noodles. These are
often consumed within 24
hours of manufacture due
to quick discoloration.
shelf life can be extended
to 3-5 days if stored under

Dried Fresh noodle stands are

dried by sunlight or in a
controlled chamber.
Chinese raw noodles,
Cantonese noodles,
chuka-men, udon
noodles, and soba
noodles can be in
dried form. Noodle shelf
life is dramatically
extended, but fragile
noodles may have
handling problems.

Boiled Fresh noodle strands are

either parboiled (90%
complete cooking) or fully
This type includes:
Chinese wet noodles,
hokkien noodles, udon
noodles, and soba
noodles. After parboiling,
Chinese wet noodles and
hokkien noodles are
rinsed in
cold water, drained and
coated with 1-2%
vegetable oil to prevent
sticking. Boiled
udon and soba noodles
are not coated with oil.
Boiled noodles are re-
cooked for
another 1-2 minutes
before serving.

Steamed Fresh alkaline noodle

strands are steamed in a
steamer and softened with
water through rinsing or
steeping. This type is also
called “Yaki-Soba”, and it
is often prepared by stir-
frying for consumption
None of the approaches discussed above are
sufficient to define each noodle type. For instance,
boiled noodles contain fully cooked and parboiled
types. Parboiled types include both hokkien and
Chinese wet noodles. In addition, wet noodles are
parboiled in most of Asia, but are fresh, uncooked
noodles in Japan. Therefore, a possible
nomenclature should incorporate key aspects such as
formulation and basic processing to fully describe the
nature of each noodle type.

6. Five of Our Major Noodle

Production Lines
1) YFM-serial Frying instant noodle machines,
complete set of production line, cup or bag noodles
The line can also be modified to make dry noodle
2) HFM-serial Non-frying (drying process) instant
noodle machines, complete set of production line, cup
or bag noodles
3) Cooking noodle machines, complete set of
production line, drying process
4) Stick noodle production line
5) Fresh raw (or instant) noodle production line
Dashanjiang noodle machines in the world
famous UNILEVER COMPANY (Vietnam)...
7. Flowchart Two popular serials of
our noodle production lines

1. YFM-serial
YFM-serial is the frying instant noodle production
line. The instant noodles will be ready to serve simply
by soaking in hot water for 3-5 minutes. The dry
instant noodles can also be consumed as snack.
Process name: 1. Flour conveying => 2. Mixing ingredient => 3. Aging => 4.
Compound rolling => 5. Slitting and ripple forming => 6. Steaming => 7.
First cooling => 8. Cutting fold => 9. Frying => 10. Arranging => 11. Cooling
=> 12. Inspecting conveying => 13. Final Product

The flow chart is:

2. HFM-serial
HFM-serial is the drying noodles production line. This
process is usually used to make dry noodles that
should be boiled in water before serving. However,
under proper operation parameters, it can also make
low fat instant noodles.
Process name: 1. Flour conveying => 2. Mixing ingredient => 3. Aging => 4.
Compound rolling => 5. Slitting and ripple forming => 6. Steaming => First
cooling => 7. Cutting fold and dividing => 8. Drying => 9. Cooling => 10.
Final Product

The flow chart is:

ANTIOXIDANTS CASE STUDY: Stretching Noodle Shelf-life
Rosemary extracts offer manufacturers an alternative to synthetic products. Read more to find out about the
Dated: 1 August 2006

Recently, manufacturers have demonstrated an interest in

naturally-occurring antioxidants because of the worldwide
trend towards the reduction or elimination of artificial food
additives. So over the past two years, Kemin Food Ingredients
has studied the efficacy of natural antioxidants in frying oil for
instant-noodle production.

In one recently-completed project, Kemin looked at replacing
200ppm synthetic TBHQ (tert-butylhydroquinone) in frying oil
(RBD palm olein) with natural, proprietary, rosemary extract
(Kemin's Fortium brand). During the study, the quality of the
frying oils was evaluated pre- and post-frying through an
analysis of decomposition materials—polar compound and
peroxide values, alkenals, and free fatty acids.
Shelf-life studies of the instant noodles were carried out at two
storage temperatures: In ambient conditions (25°C), and in the
oven (45°C). Accelerated tests were done on noodle samples
that were kept at ambient temperature—using the Oxygen
Bomb Test and Oxidative Stability Instrument—on a regular
basis throughout the shelf-life studies.

Sensory evaluation was conducted with approximately 20

consumer panelists using the noodles samples stored at
ambient temperature, at the same time points. Oxidative-
indicator tests like peroxide values (PV) and alkenals were
done on a regular basis for samples stored at both

Test results
As expected, noodles without any antioxidant treatment were
the least stable. Over the months, oxidative stability of the
noodles dropped, which was most obvious after nine months
of storage at room temperature. In comparison, oxidative
deterioration of instant noodles fried in oil with 200ppm TBHQ
was the least, compared to other antioxidant treatments and
the control. The most effective natural antioxidant was
reportedly rosemary extract. After 39 weeks of storage at
ambient temperature, the PV of the control noodles exceeded
10 milliEquivalent/kilogram, rendering the noodles unfit for
human consumption. By week 12 at storage temperature of
45°C, the PV of the 200 ppm TBHQ and natural-rosemary
extract noodles were still below 10 milliEquivalent/kilogram.

Usually, when people in the industry hear about rosemary,

their first concern is that ‘herbal odors’ might affect the
sensory acceptance of their finished product. With the right
rosemary extract, at the appropriate dose rate, this should not
be the case. In this study, a sensory panel judged no
significant differences in the rank position of control, 200 ppm
TBHQ and rosemary-extract treatments. In terms of color, the
rosemary-treated noodles were reportedly best preferred,
followed by control and 200 ppm TBHQ respectively. In terms
of smell, preference was given to rosemary-treated noodles,
followed by the TBHQ treatment. In terms of taste, there was
no significant difference in the rank position of all treatments.

Natural-rosemary extract was able to replace TBHQ without
sacrificing quality. With no legal use limitations, the inclusion
rate of natural antioxidants can be increased to improve the
stability and shelf-life of instant noodles—beyond what can be
achieved with only 200 ppm TBHQ.

Health/cost benefits
Consumer awareness and growth in the premium-food market
has contributed to the use of more expensive natural
antioxidants. Still, synthetic food antioxidants are holding onto
market share owing to the fact that they are by far lower-cost
products. Usually, a manufacturer's first reaction is resistance.
S/he may believe that switching to a natural antioxidant is an
option too expensive to even consider. However, if one looks
closely, cost at the retail level is negligible. By deciding to go
the ‘natural’ route with instant noodles, marketing and sales
departments need to be more actively involved in delivering
the premium image of their product to market. What is an
additional cost of less than 1 cent per cake, in comparison to a
company’s opportunity to take the lead in the market with a
clean label?

For comparison purposes, it is worth noting that in the average

retail market the price difference between the top- and bottom-
end instant noodle is far greater than the cost of switching to a
natural antioxidant. Contrary to some popular beliefs, using a
natural antioxidant to clean up one's label could be seen as an
opportunity to introduce a healthy, premium, consumer-friendly

Instant Noodle Trivia

In 1958, Nissin Food Products created ‘Chicken Ramen’, the

world’s first instant noodle. Since then, demand has grown. In
2001, over 1 million MT of instant noodles were produced in
China; about 700,000 MT in both Japan and Indonesia;
270,000 MT in South Korea; 200,000 MT in Vietnam; 80,000
MT in Thailand; 50,000 MT in Taiwan; and 40,000 MT in the
Philippines. Consumption has risen steadily since 1995 in
several Asian countries.