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Instant Noodle...Expired!!

m
MAX 7 Jun 16, 2007 07:08 PM

Would you still eat it?

Didn't notice the date (Apr. 07) on the package when I bought it..... wonder if that's the reason it was on sale.

Found a couple more in my cupboard, of course long expired too!!!! I know it's full of MSG and other powder, but I wonder if you would eat it.

I am starving!!!!

P.S. What's your favourite..... I am stuck on Tom Yum (mama brand)

  1. c
    Caneast Jul 30, 2007 04:53 PM

    An instant noodle that shouldn't be eaten usually have a stale smell. For the past 5 years, I only buy instant noodles that were not deep fried (it says on the package). They taste better and do not have the negativity of trans fats.

    1. Olivia Jul 25, 2007 02:05 PM

      I'd eat it.

      Yep, Mama Tom Yum RULES!!

      1. j
        joonjoon Jul 25, 2007 02:01 PM

        At some point ramen will go bad. But once it's bad you'll be able to smell and taste the rancid oil. I had this once and got pretty ill. But if it smells/tastes ok, then go for it! Actually, that's the criteria I use whenever dealing with expiration, not the date.

        1. Gosh Jul 24, 2007 04:39 AM

          #1. If we're talking about up to a year past expiry for a package of Instant Ramen, I seriously doubt that there's any health issue (assuming you're not in CHF). The worst that could have happened is it went rancid which, I believe, is bad tasting but not dangerous to eat.

          #2. I'm not a food scientist but I have a working knowledge of inorganic and organic chemistry. However, I see that some posters have thrown around the trans fatty acid thing as if it plays any role here. Trans fatty acids have been associated with increased rates of ischemic heart disease. So have hydrogenated fats. The trans descriptor has to do with the orientation of side chains. The saturated descriptor has to do with how many hydrogen atoms are bound to the available carbon binding sites. If all of the carbon binding sites are occupied by hydrogens (saturated), the molecule is more stable against oxidation (which makes fats rancid).

          Had the posters said the ramen used unsaturated fat, this would have made it more susceptible to oxidation and rancidity. However, to the best of my knowledge, whether it is trans or not is not relevant with regard to the food "going bad."

          I throw this out there to see if someone who really knows can refute or confirm my understanding.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Gosh
            Adrienne Aug 12, 2007 05:00 AM

            I do not have any explanation for this offhand, but I have definitely read that trans-fatty acids are used specifically to increase the shelf life of food (I remember it being mentioned in an article explaining how and why New York issued a fatwa against trans fats... I think using them lets you fry at a higher temperature and also makes food last longer... again, no idea what that has to do with the positioning of chains, and I've never really heard of cis-fatty acids...).

            Overall I agree with other posters -- your noodles probably don't taste as good as they did before the expiration date, but their being expired won't kill you any faster than the preservatives and fat already would have.

            1. re: Gosh
              t
              Ted in Central NJ Aug 12, 2007 08:13 AM

              Quote: "The worst that could have happened is it went rancid which, I believe, is bad tasting but not dangerous to eat."

              Actually, the free radicals that are created by the rancidity process are injurious to your body. Free radicals have been implicated in the acceleration of the aging process in humans, as well as in increasing the incidence of certain forms of cancer. Rancidity is a process that takes...perhaps months...and before something smells "rancid" the rancidity process can be well under way, and the formation of those damaging free radicals can be taking place.

              By the time that something smells rancid, most people would avoid eating it, but in fact, any product that contains fats can be in the process of randidity, and thus be potentially harmful once it is beyond the stated expiration date. As I said previously, unless someone is truly poverty-striken, it is wise to discard a product like those aged instant noodles. Better to be safe than to do potential damage to one's health over the issue of a few pennies.

            2. ipsedixit Jul 23, 2007 09:51 PM

              Eat it.

              Instant noodles will survive most nuclear fallouts.

              1. sweetie Jun 17, 2007 04:48 PM

                As long as it isn't more then a couple months it should be fine. Since it does contain oil though, you will know as soon as you open the package it the oil has gone rancid. I would not eat it in that case. I know from experience even if it has not reached the best before date, if it smells bad don't eat it. That being said I have a friend who believes that they are "best before" dates not "don't eat after" dates...lol
                I am with you on the Tom Yum.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sweetie
                  Ruth Lafler Jun 17, 2007 05:12 PM

                  As rworange said, they are, for the most part, "best before" dates: the date after which the product shouldn't be sold because the manufacturer won't guarantee its quality. The government requires "expiration dates" on foods, but for all practical purposes, anything that's in a shelf-stable sealed package doesn't spoil. What it will do is deteriorate in quality. Even if the oil becomes rancid, it's not really unsafe to eat -- it won't taste good and might upset your tummy, but it won't give you food poisoning.

                  People throw out waaaay too much food because it's "expired" -- which I'm sure doesn't make the manufacturers unhappy at all.

                2. Quine Jun 17, 2007 12:04 PM

                  Those dates are usually "Best if served by" dates. I suspect that thousands of years from now, someone willunearth one of these and find, it is like Wonderbread and Twinkles, still perfectly edible (or as least as they are now) :-)

                  1. chowser Jun 17, 2007 10:20 AM

                    It's deep fried in trans fats--it'll last a long time.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: chowser
                      e
                      enooke Jun 17, 2007 11:58 AM

                      I would generally avoid eating instant noodles that have far passed the expiration date. The flavor of the oils seem to change over time and after a while, you'll notice those instant noodles tasting a bit off. I think if it's a month or two, then it's ok. However, if you've gone past the expiration date more than a few months to a few years, I think you'll notice a pretty funky taste sometimes.

                      1. re: chowser
                        t
                        Ted in Central NJ Jun 17, 2007 02:16 PM

                        Between the high trans-fat content and the fact that those fats may now be rancid (oxidized) this is not exactly the prescription for good health. Unless you are truly poverty striken, I would suggest that you dispose of this stuff.

                        1. re: Ted in Central NJ
                          jayt90 Jul 23, 2007 06:05 PM

                          Most noodle packages use palm oil rather than hydrogenated fat to pre-cook the noodles. So rancidity will occur over time, and 6 months past the expiry date might be what I would accept, though my nose would be the best judge.

                          If you are worried about trans fats, check the white nutrition label to see if they are there. Chances are the industry has gone beyond that barrier.

                      2. rworange Jun 17, 2007 10:15 AM

                        Oh yeah, I'd eat it without thinking twice.

                        First of all those expiration dates are more for the benefit of the company.

                        Second, it is hard for salt to expire. There's so much stuff in there preservative-wise, I'd have no problem eating it even a year after expiration. The noodles may possibly taste a little stale a year after expiration ... or maybe not. I don't think there's real meat in there anyway. If it doesn't have anything growing in it ... and it won't just two months after expiration ... throw some water in and give it a try. If it tastes stale then toss it.

                        Don't have a favorite ... I favor what's on sale.

                        If there was some major disaster on earth and only I was left with only instant noodles to eat, I think I would be able to live a normal lifetime on the noodles ... if the salt in it didn't kill me.

                        Why is Tom Yum the best in your opinion? I don't think I've tried that brand.

                        1. k
                          Karieann Jun 16, 2007 08:10 PM

                          Oh sure--it's fine. I'd eat lots of things that were only a month or two past the date, except for maybe milk or meat...

                          I currently have a tin of cayenne pepper that apparently should have been eaten by December--1985! Now I can't get rid of it becaue I can't believe how old it is! ;-)

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