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Instant noodles pass test for carcinogen

By Lu Chen (Global Times)

08:49, November 01, 2012

The local quality control bureau found no traces of a carcinogen in samples of the instant noodles and seasoning packets it tested after a South Korean food company recalled of 5.64 million packages of the noodles last week, the bureau said Wednesday.

The Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision has tested 15 seasoning packets and three noodle samples produced by Shanghai Nongshim Foods Co Ltd, a local subsidiary of Nongshim Co Ltd, the South Korean company that recalled its noodles. The quality control bureau also tested three noodle samples provided by the local company's distributor, according to a bureau press release.

The recalled noodles allegedly contained benzopyrene, a compound considered to be a carcinogen, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency.

Benzopyrene exists in many foods. It is produced when meat or other kinds of food in contact with carbon are deep-fried, smoked or roasted, said Wu Yongning, a researcher with the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment. It is possible for benzopyrene to cause tumors if ingested in large enough quantities.

In China, the control of benzopyrene is not specified and there are no standards for its use in foodstuffs, which makes it difficult to regulate, Wu said.

"Only South Korea has standards, because it is a large producer of instant noodles and other processed foods," he told the Global Times. "Therefore, a national standard is in need as different countries have different risk appraisals regarding these substances."

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