Instant ramen noodles may not bear much resemblance to those served at a Michelin-starred ramen restaurant, but they will relieve your hunger when you most need it.
An excellent survival food, ramen noodles can be eaten raw, at a push, or quickly converted into a delicious soup. Either way, they’ll give you all the carbohydrates you need to keep your blood sugar and energy levels up.
Survival food needs to do more than provide instant hunger relief, however, and also needs to survive itself, which brings us to the crux of the matter – do ramen noodles expire?
Instant noodles are non-perishable and are made using food preservation technology that extends their shelf life.
The best before dates on bagged instant noodles will generally be between eight months to two years.
That’s only one side of the story, however, and many survivalists and preppers find themselves wondering how long ramen noodles are good for after the expiration date?
The expiration dates on food items don’t tell consumers that the product has become dangerous to eat. They simply let you know that the product is no longer at its best. That might mean it’s gone a little soft or stale, but that it still contains the nutritional value it had before.
According to some, instant noodles may still be edible for up to 10 years after their expiry date, whereas others say they begin to stale just six months after they officially expired.
Once they reach 18 months beyond the expiration date, the noodles are liable to taste more like cardboard than food but will likely still be safe to eat.
When your ramen noodles have survived for two years beyond their best before date, it’s time to decide if an upset stomach is better than an empty one or whether it’s better to give those noodles a wide berth.
You’ll want to exercise a little caution before tucking into 2-year-old ramen noodles, let alone 12-year-old ones, and it’s well worth checking for the following telltale signs of expiration:
If any of these signs are present, you should stay well away from those noodles and find yourself a handful of berries or an edible root or two to sate your hunger instead.
Shelf Life vs. Fit for Consumption
The shelf life of Ramen noodles is 8 to 12 months. However, the shelf life for these noodles is based more on flavor than on danger.
The noodles themselves will not give you bad food poisoning or give you anything worse than an upset stomach if you consume them after their best before date – it is not recommended to consume them if they are more than 8 months past their best before date.
The flavor packet is what will make them either tasty or unpleasant to eat.
Ramen noodles are made of wheat flour, salt, water, mineral water, and preservatives which once combined and mixed is then dehydrated.
Dehydrating food removes the microorganisms that cause food to spoil. Vitamin E is added as an antioxidant to slow down the oxidization process. The oil used in the production of the noodles is what breaks down over time, causing the noodles to lose their taste and break.
Keep Your Noodles Fresher for Longer
By ensuring the noodles are stored properly to protect them from air, moisture, and bugs, they will retain their taste even longer.
First and foremost, before you buy Ramen noodles, check that the packet is properly sealed. If the packet has a tear in it or is not properly sealed, do not buy it.
When you get home from the store, check each packet to make sure none popped open in your shopping bag. If any did develop tears, use these packets first.
For me, sealing the packets again in a vacuum bag prolongs the shelf life by protecting the noodles from bugs, moisture, and air – the air exposure over a prolonged period is what will accelerate the oxidization process causing your noodles to lose their flavor.
If you cannot vacuum seal the packs, store them in air and water-tight containers. Do not remove them from their original packaging.
The little packet of flavoring included with the noodles should also be sealed to retain its taste.
Store the noodles at room temperature in a dark, cool room (pantry) or cabinet away from other food sources that have a strong odor, as the noodles could absorb these odors, and it will affect the taste. Vacuum packaging is also brilliant for this.
Rotate your supply so that you always use the oldest noodles first.
Due to Covid, a lot of good ramen restaurants have closed
It makes me feel very angry.
I used to eat ramen out frequently,
Ramen shops have started to shorten the hours, limit the number of customers, or even closed their shops.
It has affected the industry so much.
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