Most rice noodle nutrition labels are wrong: watchdog

The Consumer Council said on Tuesday that more than half of the rice noodles it tested recently contained different nutrients to those declared on their packaging.

The council said it tested 30 rice noodle samples, including vermicelli, mixian and Thai rice noodles.

It said the sodium content of one dried Thai rice noodle sample exceeded the labeled value by over 41 times, and it has passed the relevant data to the Center for Food Safety for follow-up action.

The council added that two samples also contained gluten, but failed to declare that the allergen was in the products.

The council’s chief executive Gilly Wong said manufacturers should test their products regularly in order to provide accurate nutrition information.

Lui Wing-cheong, vice-chair of the council’s research and testing committee, said most samples also contained metallic contaminants, but not at alarming levels.

“Over 80 percent of the tested samples were detected with metallic contaminants, with 24 detected with cadmium, 14 with chromium, and 9 with the carcinogen inorganic arsenic. However, as the levels of metallic contaminants detected were not high, normal consumption would not pose high risks to consumers’ health,” he said.

Separately, the council warned that a fat-freezing procedure performed at beauty clinics can’t effectively help people lose weight, as it can only be used to reduce fat in certain body parts.

The council said the cryolipolysis treatment therefore isn’t suitable for significantly overweight people.

It also reminded people to think carefully before purchasing such services at beauty parlors or clinics, saying some of the seven companies they visited said they only assessed the results of procedures by comparing photos taken before and after.

“Some even claimed that consumers could ‘feel the effect personally’ instead of adopting scientific measurement to assess the efficacy,” Lui said.

He said people should consult a doctor, and understand the potential risks and attainable results before considering having the procedure done.

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