Background and objectives: Consumption of foods made with wheat flour, particularly instant noodles, is increasing in Asia. Given this trend, fortifying wheat flour with vitamins and minerals may improve micronutrient intake in the region. The objective of this review was to understand what is known about fortifying wheat flour used to make instant noodles.
Methods and study design: A literature review of seven databases was performed using the search terms "noodle" and ("Asian" or "instant"). Grey literature was requested through a food fortification listserv. Articles were title screened first for relevance and duplicity, with exclusion criteria applied during the second round of abstract-level screening. This review considered studies examining simulation, retention, sensory, bioavailability, efficacy, and effectiveness of instant noodles made with fortified wheat flour.
Results: Fourteen relevant documents were reviewed for simulation (n=1), retention (n=11), and sensory studies (n=3). The documents revealed that instant noodles produced from fortified wheat flour have potential to improve nutrient intakes, have high retention of most nutrients, and provoke no or minimal changes in sensory characteristics.
Conclusions: The available literature indicates that using fortified wheat flour for instant noodle production results in retention of the added nutrients, except thiamin, with no significant sensory change to the final product. Given the rising consumption of instant noodles, production of this item with fortified wheat flour has potential to improve nutrient intakes in Asia. This review provides a resource for the design of a wheat flour fortification program in countries where a large proportion of wheat flour is consumed as instant noodles.