How long do instant Noodles last? This is also called ‘instant ramen’. It is fast food, already pre-cooked and dried, usually packed with flavor and seasoning oil.
These dried blocks should be re-cooked or soaked in boiling water before eating.
Ramen is the Japanese form of Chinese noodle. It is found in most parts of the world now.
The main ingredients of instant noodles are; flour, starch, water, salt or alkaline mineral water, and phosphoric acid.
Instant noodles are low in calories (which is good), but unfortunately, they are equally low in fiber and protein.
They are high in fat, carbohydrates, and sodium, but they lack important nutrients like vitamins A, C, B12, and more.
So, how long do Instant Noodles last unopened?
Unopened instant noodles have dates on them, which are the manufacturing and expiration dates. Bagged noodles will last 8 months after the expiration date if left unopened in a comfortable condition.
While cupped noodles will stay for 6 months after the expiration date.
Instant Noodles generally have a shell life between 2 to 12 months past the expiration date, with the highest estimate being 18 months.
At this point, noodles will begin to taste more like cardboard than food.
But why will you keep noodles for that long, it’s really delicious to slurp up! Dried instant noodles have a long shelf life and can be stored in the pantry for a long.
Since they are dried, it is not recommended to expose them to moisture in the refrigerator.
After opening, quickly transfer to an airtight container or ziplock bag, where it will remain fresh in top quality for 2 weeks.
Sealing it tightly after opening should be a priority.
How Long Do Instant Noodles Last After Expiration Date?
If you have subjected the noodles to a thorough check and they look good without the presence of molds, rancid, or anything foul,
Then there is no harm in eating them past the expiration date.
The taste may not really be great, but it is still safe and edible.
The expiration date is just an estimate by manufacturers on how long it can stay,
It is just a heads up in food, so, you can know it has reached peak quality and will likely begin to spoil soon.
It doesn’t mean it has spoiled already, so it is left for you to observe changes in taste, appearance, and flavor and store it properly.
If properly stored, it can exceed the deadline.
Unopened instant noodles can last 2 years after the expiration date depending on the brand, ingredients, preservation, and packaging used.
But I would recommend 18 months after the expiration date as max.
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How Long Do Cooked Instant Noodles Last?
Store cooked noodles in the fridge where they will last 3 to 5 days.
Do not leave it in the fridge for too long, otherwise, it will start growing mold – which is an indication of spoilage.
Noodles left beyond their limit in the refrigerator will begin to smell, become slimy, discolored, and not appealing.
To store cooked noodles, allow cooling slightly after cooking.
It is recommended that you store it separately from your sauce.
Ensure you refrigerate noodles within 2 hours of cooking because if left at room temperature, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly in temperatures between 40⁰F – 140⁰F.
Do Instant Noodles Really Expire?
Yes, they do. If they don’t, we will think they are aliens and we would be really scared to eat them.
After the set date, the oil will begin to go rancid and deteriorate the taste of the noodles, leaving them unfresh.
You should not leave noodles for too long. Check out for bad smell, presence of mold, color change, or strange taste.
If one or more of these are found, then know that the noodles are expired.
Eating expired, really bad, and expired noodles will lead to food poisoning, stomach upsets, vomiting, and irritation of the taste buds.
Can You Get Sick From Eating Expired Ramen Noodles?
You can comfortably still eat ramen noodles even 3 months after the expiration date,
But it is advisable you discard them because it is very likely that molds will begin to emerge.
And of course, we know that old ramen with molds on it is dangerous and will lead to food poisoning, and stomach upset.
Consuming badly expired and stale ramen noodles will result in gastrointestinal discomfort and severe food poisoning.
The extent of damage is determined by the number of contaminants in the body system.
Imagine eating ramen noodles that are 24 months past the expiration date, it will mess up your stomach badly.
The degradation process occurs slowly in ramen noodles, so the moment it degrades to the point of unhealthiness and discard.
Generally recommend, you can risk noodles 2 months after the expiration date;
But 6 months after, the noodles begin to taste bad
18 months after, it will taste so awful with unwanted particles floating around.
Can Ramen Noodles Last 10 years?
That’s a whole lot!
However, ramen noodles have a very long shelf life because they are dehydrated and deep fried, with very low moisture content.
Ramen noodles also have plenty of vitamin E which is an excellent antioxidant – helps prevent oxidation of the noodles.
Packaging also contributes to the shell life of Ramen Noodles.
If packaged with cheap elastic packages, it will not last long because any pointy object can damage the package,
Thereby exposing the noodles to air and contamination.
But Ramen Noodles with high-quality cup packaging will last longer because it is thick and cannot easily get damaged.
Always keep ramen noodles in a cool, dry place inside a plastic airtight container or a cardboard box.
Keep away from other strong-smelling foods which may contaminate it.
2 years after the manufacturing date is the most ventured so far with a success, especially if all the storage conditions are met.
Can You Freeze Cooked Instant Noodles?
Yes, you can. To freeze cooked noodles, use an airtight plastic container.
First of all, toss the noodles in olive oil to prevent clumps.
Then, close the lid, label, and date before freezing.
Freezing will help preserve the taste, flavor, and texture of cooked noodles.
Noodles that contain sauce will freeze best, then dry noodles which will turn mushy when thawed.
Be sure to cook it moderately because if it’s too soft, it disintegrates when reheated.
Always lay the noodles flat, to prevent the formation of ice in the middle, making the edges get overcooked during reheating.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and place in a microwave dish.
Then top with butter and microwave it for 3 – 5 minutes until it is all heated up.
Freezing, reheating, and refreezing are not recommended, that is why you should freeze in batches.
Do Instant Noodles Need To Be Refrigerated?
Instant Noodles need to be refrigerated only if fresh, uncooked, and raw or cooked.
Refrigerating these categories will help maintain their freshness and increase the shell life from 2 hours to 3 weeks.
Cooked noodles will last only 6 hours without/outside the fridge,
So, it is very necessary to freeze noodles that are raw or cooked.
The moisture content then makes it prone to bacteria which multiplies every 20 minutes.
In 7 hours, you can have over 2,000,000 bacteria.
Whoa! That’s dangerously crazy and scary.
While instant dry noodles can survive if kept in an airtight container, in a dark, dry place at room temperature.
No need for refrigeration.
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What Do Cooked Instant Noodles Taste Like?
It is salty with a little detail of sweetness, and just a hint of spice to make it less boring.
It brings this relish, savoring, tangy feel to your taste buds.
The Kansai ingredient (mineral water with sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate, and phosphoric acid) is the secret agent responsible for the good taste of instant noodles.
When it comes together with wheat flour, impeccable taste, texture, and color are obtained.
When combined with a broth, noodles will taste majorly salty and also adopt the taste of the broth
Which could be made from chicken bones, beef, pork, or seafood.
Monosodium glutamate gives noodles that ‘meaty’ feel, while sodium chloride gives them that wonderful salty feel.
What Do Uncooked Instant Noodles Taste Like?
It tastes like a snack, although not as tasty as cooked instant noodles.
However, it can be eaten fresh out of the packet.
They have been semi-cooked and dehydrated, it is more like eating potato chips so there will be no health issues.
However, it is not recommended to eat it often because it is not a healthy snack.
Raw ramen noodles from packets are not as ‘raw’ as they are called anyway.
They are already cooked, before being dried and packaged.
The urge to consume ramen noodles comes when you’re very hungry and the water seems to take an eternity to boil.
Well, go ahead for it is quite safe though not very nutritional.
Another beautiful way to enjoy the sweet goodness of raw ramen noodles;
Break the noodles while still stolen in the packet
Then rip it open and pour the seasoning over the crushed noodles
Reseal the bag and shake shake shake till it is coated completely in the seasoning. Yummy!
Can You Eat Expired Dry Noodles?
Dry noodles won’t go bad because bacteria that cause spoilage cannot thrive there,
Only that they will lose their flavor and taste over time. So you can judge the qualities from appearance, texture, and smell.
If anything foul or out of place is observed, discard it.
It is safe to eat expired dry noodles only if it is just past the expiration date, and the quality is still safe and intact.
Dried noodles will last a maximum of 2 years after the expiration date if properly stored with an undamaged package.
Although it may begin to taste really off, it is not harmful so long as there are no molds.
How To Tell If Instant Noodles Has Gone Bad?
Signs of spoilage are when oil oxidizes, leading to rancidity which will affect the smell and taste of noodles.
Note that the process of expiration is gradual and not immediate.
Stop consumption once you notice an unpleasant odor, presence of mold, discoloration, or weird texture.
Ramen Noodles spoilage is also determined by the storage conditions and added ingredients.
Change in condition with excess air, moisture will affect the noodles.
Noodles with chicken or veggies will spoil after a while due to the ingredients.
The aluminum package will also have an effect on the noodles.
So, always check out for molds, change in color, off odor, and fragile nature (If it breaks easily when pressed between your fingers).
These are clear signs and should not be difficult to detect.
How To Preserve Cooked Instant Noodles To Last Longer?
To preserve cooked noodles, store them in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Before refrigerating ensure they are cooked gently and oiled.
You could reheat it when ready to consume, in a microwave or hot broth.
It can also be eaten cold in a salad. The best option is to freeze it and it will last up to 1 month in the freezer.
Ensure you keep cooked instant noodles away from heat,
And direct sunlight because bacteria that cause spoilage tend to thrive in this period.
Remember that cooked noodles will last longer in the freezer.
Can Old Instant Noodles Make You Sick?
Old ramen noodles will make you sick once it has passed their expiration date and deteriorated so badly in quality.
If too much time has passed, it may become contaminated with bacteria and cause illness to the body.
It will begin to decline gradually from slightly bad, to bad, to worse, depending on how old it has lasted.
However, if old ramen noodles had been properly stored, there will be no fear of getting food poisoning,
That’s because factors that will aid the presence of bacteria have been prevented.
So keep noodles properly in a cool, dry place, and use them within the estimated timeframe.
How Long Do Uncooked Ramen Noodles Expire?
They will last 2 – 3 years, sealed, unopened, and properly stored.
Uncooked noodles have been well dried out and packaged with preservatives to give them a far longer shelf life than what was expected,
But you should also be observant. Check out for mold growth and soggy areas, unpleasant smell, color, or rancid taste.
If not properly stored, it will go bad quicker, especially when exposed to excessive moisture.
If the package has been damaged, or hole in it, it could be caused by insects so be watchful.
Bad/expired noodles will no longer taste as fresh as they should if new or properly stored.
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Instant noodles are almost an every-home food. Easy to prepare and easy to purchase.
However, you may be wondering how best to store it, how long it will keep, how to know when it gets bad and how to preserve it,
You may also be curious about how it tastes and if it’s very good for you.
Not to worry, because this article has got you covered.
Meanwhile, you may not be storing instant noodles for so long anymore, why? It’s yummy!
Remember, how long do instant noodles last?