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You might want to think twice before eating instant noodles. Researchers found plasticizers in noodles produced in China. The findings were based on samples taken in October last year, and is not related to the current scandal that's caused chaos in Taiwan's food industry.
The plasticizer scandal that hit the Taiwan's food industry is also affecting food production in Mainland China, according to a recently published study. Since May, hundreds of Taiwanese food items have been found to contain DEHP. It's an organic compound, normally used for increasing the plasticity and fluidity in plastic. In Taiwan, food producers have been illegally adding DEHP to beverages and foods, like jam and jelly, to improve their appearance. Plasticizers can cause hormonal imbalance, and are a hazard for pregnant women and children.
They were first found in foods produced in Taiwan. But earlier this month, Associate Professor Lin Chunhuong from South China Agricultural University says she found DEHP in samples of Chinese-made instant noodles. The research results were published in China's "Food Science" magazine. Lin and her team found DEHP in more than half of the samples, with some exceeding the national safety standard by up to one hundred times. They believe the DEHP was leaked from the noodle's plastic packaging, but a Public Health professor doubts that's the case.
[Professor Chen Yu-ming, School of Public Health , Sun Yat-sen University]:
"I don't think it's pure contamination, the [DEHP] was likely added to improve the texture of the food. Food packaging is usually stable, and doesn't easily leak substances."
Lin says her research was based on samples take in October last year, and is not related to the current scandal in Taiwan.