Sunday, February 21, 2010

Boric Acid in Yellow Noodles (Mee) Experiment

Yellow noodles and turmeric powder befor and after mixing them together. The yellow noodles (mee) turned bright red when the boric acid reacted with turmeric powder.
Soda bicarbonat and turmeric powder before they are added together. When they are mixed, the colour did not change! It was reported in the The Star (excerpt from Harian Metro clips) on January 19, 2008 that boric acid is found in yellow noodles. These yellow noodles manufacturers are still using boric acid and benzoic acid to preserve it despite repeated warning and action by the authorities. The usage of Boric acid as preservative is prohibited as in Malaysian Food Act 1983 and Food Regulation 1985; Sub Section 13 (1) stated that "Any person who prepares or sell any food that has in or upon it any substance which is poisonous, harmful or otherwise injurious to health commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both". Boric acid has mild fungicide, pesticide and antiseptic properties. It is widely used in furniture industry for insect control. The side effects of consuming boric acid are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, impotence, dermatitis, kidney failure, acute dysfunction of blood circulation, cancer and even death (high dosage). If you mix turmeric with yellow noodles that contain boric acid, it will turn bright red. However some websites claimed that turmeric reacts with the soda bicarbonate (Natrium bicarbonate) used in yellow noodles. Soda bicarbonate gives the yellow noodles the expected texture. In order to confirm these claims, I carried out the experiment as shown in the pictures above. The yellow noodles turned bright red immediately when I mixed it with turmeric powder. Then I used some of the baking soda I have and add to the turmeric. The colour did not change. So, is it true that the yellow noodles contain boric acid? Is there any chemist out there that can carry out further test to confirm this? I hope the authorities would be more active in taking action against these unscrupulous yellow noodle manufacturers! (Now, you know why I always use spaghetti in place of the yellow noodles in my cooking!)

20 comments:

suituapui said...

I noticed that the yellow noodles in West Malaysia (and Kuching) are really very yellow and firmer...compared to the ones in Sibu which are very pale...and may get soft and soggy e.g. if we buy noodles with gravy/soup home. My relatives in Kuching prefer to buy the noodles from Sibu whenever possible - they say they taste nicer too.

drumsticks said...

gong hei fatt choy!
;)

mommy to chumsy said...

oh man..this is very scary. i remember a case back in the 80's in tg. tualang where many ppl died from eating noodles which contain excessive boric acid :( luckily i'm not a fan of yellow noodles. i prefer hor fun or vermicelli or wanton noodle.

reanaclaire said...

oh gosh... i just ate some yellow noodles.. cis, i should have came here before i went for dinner just now! thanks for the info, Pete, i will refrain from my yellow noodles from today onwards.. :)

Bananazക said...

At one time it happened in a school where quite a number of school children died after eating 'loh shi fun' from school canteen becoz of excessive boric. One thing for sure gomen is not very strict and those "murderers" becoz of greed are not bothered even RM100K or 10 years in jail or both so what? *sigh* tQ for sharing the experiment.

Christine said...

very interesting Pete. And scary.

Mei Teng said...

Eat less of those yellow noodles. Happy CNY! :)

cleffairy said...

*high 5* I oso prefers to use spaghetti and pastas rather than yellow noodles... lol... not only can spare me from the toxic, but spaghetti also can be kept very long. Ahahahahah!

manglish said...

yeah this has been an issue for a few years oredi, i remember i blame them for causing an explosion of acne bcs i was eating curry mee all the time once haahaahaha

[SK] said...

wow, this is an eye-opening experiement.. so with your experiment, what can you tell about the harm to human body?? so i think better not to eat the yellow noodles for the time being huh?? :)

foongpc said...

I always try not to eat the yellow noodles as the use of boric acid had been highlighted by CAP many times in the past.

Why is the authorities not doing anything about this?

Xjion89 said...

omg! imagine the noodle reacts in our bodies~~~@@

smallkucing said...

alamak, my son loves yellow noodles

CheaHS@n said...

yellow mee eventually becomes gallows mee...:(

tuti said...

to earn money, manufacturers do anything. they should be punished. like china and the milk tainting.

wenn said...

i only take it once in a while.

xin said...

thank goodness i dont like yellow mee :P

umihoney said...

Yes Pete I too use spaghetti instead of yellow mee coz of this

Ayie said...

sorry pete but the red noodle strings made me think of earthworms...

Euginia Vidya Gleys said...

That's scary and I just found out that the noodle I bought today contain boric acid. I cooked it with turmeric as our tradition. And it turns red

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