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What was once considered a cure for mass hunger, the instant noodle— meant to lift millions out of hunger— is now driving us into a state of unwellness due to its lack of nutritional value.
After many trials and errors, Ando Momofuku came up with a process to industrially manufacture instant noodles. A process that is still being implemented today— consisting of noodle-making, followed by steaming, seasoning, and then deep-frying the noodles. Unfortunately, this deep-frying process fries off most natural nutrients, leaving you a noodle cake filled with nothing but empty calories. Many instant noodle brands also choose to deep-fry their noodles in palm oil: a type of vegetable oil that is relatively cheap but is extremely harmful to the environment and our health.
Instant noodles made out of Maida— which is most traditional instant noodles— although stripped of most nutrients during the flour refining process, are still extremely high in carbohydrates. Eating large amounts of carbs is detrimental to our hormonal systems as it encourages the secretion of insulin. Consequently, causing more energy to be converted into fat tissues instead of it being used to fuel other parts of the body. This, in turn, causes more hunger and overeating, leading to weight gain and obesity.
In spite of many studies and media outlets calling out instant noodles for its unhealthiness, the world still slurps down a whopping 116.6 billion servings a year— about 320 million daily servings. It’s obvious that most of us still eat instant noodles despite the rising health concerns and it’s even more obvious to WhatIF Foods that we should do something about it. So we asked ourselves ‘what if we could make instant noodles healthy?’
While we believe that instant noodles will always play a central role in delivering accessible calories to people, we also would like to reimagine how instant noodles can be made to support our well-being and our planet’s well-being.
WhatIF noodles are made using a patented air-frying technology that disrupts the 60-year-old deep-frying process used in almost 100 billion portions of instant noodles annually. By opting out of deep-frying, we are able to retain as many natural nutrients from the Bambara groundnut as possible. As a result, we are able to harness and convert all the natural goodness of the Bambara groundnut to make our Noods high in protein and a source of dietary fibres.