I just came across this article about improvising around instant ramen. Assuming that the flavour pack is independent of noodles, does one need a hechsher on ramen?

  • Yes, certainly. The equipment may not have been clean. Things that are kosher without a hechsher tend to be raw ingredients only, or very simple concoctions like beer.
    – Tatpurusha
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 4:22
  • @Tatpurusha Actually, until we know otherwise equipment is not assumed to be Ben Yomo. Is there any spicy ingredient here of which I am unaware?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 5:18
  • @DoubleAA Wouldn't the inclusion of eggs mean that the product requires supervision?
    – Tatpurusha
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 15:27
  • @Tatpurusha You mean lest they come from a non-kosher bird? Perhaps that's an issue. I'm not sure how the rules of Rov would work in this case.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


According to Wikipedia:

Next, noodles can be dried in one of two ways: by frying or by hot air drying. Fried instant noodles are dried by oil frying for 1–2 minutes at a temperature of 140-160 degrees Celsius. The frying process decreases the moisture content from 30-50% to 2-5%. Common oils used for frying in North America consist of canola, cottonseed and palm oil mixtures, while only palm oil or palm olein are used in Asia. Air-dried noodles are dried for 30–40 minutes in hot air at a temperature of 70-90 degrees Celsius, resulting in a moisture content of 8-12%. The heat from either drying process will further add to the porous texture of the noodles by gelatinizing the starch even more. More than 80% of instant noodles are fried as it gives more evenly dried noodles than hot air drying which can cause an undesired texture in finished noodles, and also taking longer time to cook. However, with fried noodles, the oil content is about 15-20% and decreases the shelf life of the noodles due to oxidation whereas in hot air-dried noodles it has only 3% oil content maximum.

Wikipedia doesn't explain where the 3% of oil comes from in the hot air drying process, but in any event it is 20% of the cases. Reading some easily findable ingredient panels indicates palm oil as an important ingredient.

Anything containing processed oil, and that includes palm oil, is going to require certification. This is primarily because equipment is used to processes animal fat as oil without any serious attempt to clean it for the other kinds of oil, as it is not regarded as a contaminant. Rabbi Zushe Blech's book Kosher Food Production contains more detail about this, as well as many other such issues.

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