Below, we review the ingredients of popular ramen products and tell you whether they have added MSG. As a spoiler, if you want to avoid MSG, ramen is generally not a good choice for a meal. Let’s get into the details!
Is There MSG in Ramen?
You can tell if a ramen product has added MSG by reviewing its ingredients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that food manufacturers list added MSG in the ingredients when used. It will appear under its unabbreviated name of “Monosodium Glutamate” in the ingredients.
The table below shows several popular ramen products along with their ingredients and whether each contains added MSG. Most ramen products have added MSG and/or naturally occurring glutamate.
Natural glutamate is found in ingredients that can be in ramen such as mushrooms, meat, fish, and vegetables. The FDA does not require that the product label disclose when an ingredient contains natural glutamate. They only require disclosure of added MSG.
If you still want to enjoy ramen without added MSG or natural glutamate, we suggest buying plain ramen noodles without seasoning such as Simply Asia Japanese Style Ramen Noodles. These noodles have no MSG as indicated on the label. You can then add ingredients without glutamate to create your own ramen dish. Certainly, avoid adding these high-glutamate foods to it if consuming glutamate is a concern for you.
|Ramen Product||Added MSG (Yes or No)?||Ingredients|
|Maruchan Chicken Flavor Ramen||Yes||Ramen Noodle Ingredients: Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Contains One Or More Of The Following: Canola, Cottonseed, Palm) Preserved By Tbhq, Contains Less Than 1% Of: Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Potassium Carbonate, Sodium (Mono, Hexameta, And/or Tripoly) Phosphate, Sodium Carbonate, Turmeric. Soup Base Ingredients: Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Maltodextrin, Contains Less Than 1% Of: Spices (Celery Seed), Hydrolyzed Corn, Wheat And Soy Protein, Turmeric, Lactose, Natural Flavors, Dehydrated Vegetables (Chive, Garlic, Onion), Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Vegetable Oil (Palm), Yeast Extract, Powdered Cooked Chicken.|
|Maruchan Beef Flavor Ramen||Yes||Ramen: Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Contains One or More of the Following: Canola, Cottonseed, Palm), Preserved by TBHQ, Contains Less than 1% of: Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Potassium Carbonate, Sodium (Mono, Hexameta and/or Tripoly), Phosphate, Sodium Carbonate, Turmeric. Soup Base: Salt, Sugar, Contains Less than 1% of: Maltodextrin, Monosodium Glutamate, Caramel Color, Dehydrated Soy Sauce (Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Spices, Beef Fat, Lactose, Hydrolyzed Corn, Wheat and Soy Protein, Yeast Extract, Dehydrated Vegetables (Garlic, Onion, Chive), Natural Flavor, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate.|
|Nissin Hot & Spicy Chicken Flavor Ramen||Contains Naturally Occurring Glutamates. No Added MSG.||Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Palm Oil, Palm Olein Oil), Salt, Contains less than 2% of Beta Carotene Color, Citric Acid, Coconut Palm Sugar, Dextrose, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Succinate, Dried Cabbage Flake, Dried Corn, Dried Green Onion, Dried Parsley, Dried Red Bell Pepper, Egg White, Garlic, Garlic Powder, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lactose, Lemongrass, Lime Juice, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavor, Onion Powder, Potassium Chloride, Powdered Chicken, Rendered Chicken Fat, Shallot, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Soybean, Spice and Color, Sugar, TBHQ (Preservative), Textured Soy Protein, Tocopherol (Preservative), Water, Xanthan Gum|
|Nissin Top Ramen Chicken Flavored||Contains Naturally Occurring Glutamates. No Added MSG.||Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Tapioca Starch, Salt, Dried Carrot Flake, Water, Sugar, Contains less than 2% of Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Beta Carotene Color, Caramel Color, Citric Acid, Concentrated Chicken Stock, Corn Syrup, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Succinate, Dried Corn, Dried Green Onion, Dried Leek Flake, Dried Red Bell Pepper, Egg White, Garlic Powder, Glucose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Onion Powder, Potassium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Powdered Chicken, Rendered Chicken Fat, Rice, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Soybean, Spice and Color, Succinic Acid, Sucralose, TBHQ (Preservative), Vinegar, Wheat, Xanthan Gum|
|Samyang Ramen Instant Noodle Cup||Yes||Noodle: Wheat Flour, Palm Oil, Food Starch-modified, Salt, Glycerin, Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Soy Lecithin, Potassium Carbonate, Sodium Carbonate, Disodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Tocopherols, riboflavin(Color). (2)soup: Soy Sauce Seasoning Powder (Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Palm Oil, Salt, Dextrose, Maltodextrin, L-glutamic Acid, Soy Protein, Dextrin, Wheat), Yeast Extract Powder, Monosodium Glutamate, Salt, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Rice Powder, Hot Pepper Seasoning(Cayenne Pepper, Chili Pepper, Red Pepper, Garlic, Salt, Onion, Ginger), Capsicum Oleoresin, Black Pepper Powder, Disodium 5′-Ribonucleotide, Red Pepper Powder, Palm Oil, Onion Powder, Caramel(Color), Paprika Oleoresin, Garlic Oil (Garlic, Soybean Oil). (3)flake: Carrot, Cabbage, Chived, Bok Choy.|
|Sapporo Ichiban Tonkotsu Ramen White Chicken Broth||Yes||Noodles: Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil (TBHQ and Citric Acid Added to Protect Flavor), Tapioca Starch, Salt, Guar Gum, Sodium Carbonate, Tocopherols, Potassium Carbonate.|
Soup Base: Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Non Dairy Creamer (Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative), Mono and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate), Natural and Artificial Seasoning (Maltodextrine, Modified Food Starch, Sesame Oil, Canola Oil, Natural and Artificial Flavors), Lactose, Sesame Seeds, Dried Leek, Chicken Broth Powder [Maltodextrin, Chicken Broth Flavor (Contains Chicken Broth, Salt, Flavor)], Garlic Powder, Pork Fat Flavor (Modified Food Starch, Rendered Bacon Fat, Natural Flavor)], Yeast Extract, Spices, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Caramel Color Corn Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate.
|Simply Asia Japanese Style Ramen Noodles||No||Wheat Flour, Water, Salt, Potassium Carbonate, Sodium Carbonate (Antioxidant).|
|Tapatio Ramen Noodles Original Flavor||Yes||Noodle Ingredients: Wheat Flour, Modified Tapioca Starch, Refined Palm Oil, Refined Salt, Soy Lecithin, Onion Extract, Potassium Carbonate, Guar Gum, Mixed Tocopherol Powder, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate Dibasic, Green Tea Flavor Oil, Riboflavin, Citric Acid, Soup Ingredients: Vegetable Powder (Chili, Tomato, Garlic, Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Onion), Hot Sauce Powder, Salt, Sugar, Monosodium L-Glutamate, Artificial Beef Flavor, Modified Potato Starch, Roasted Wheat Flour, DL-Malic Acid, Yeast Extract Powder, Parsley Flake, Paprika Extract, Disodium 5′-Ribonucleotide, Xantan Gum, Jalapeno Flavor, Flake Ingredients: Dried Cabbage, Dried Bok Choy, Dried Carrot, Dried Red Pepper.|
|Ottogi Jin Ramen Mild||Yes||Wheat Flour, Modified Starch(Tapioca, Potato), Palm Oil, Salt, Potato Starch, Sugar, Wheat Gluten, Red Pepper Seasoning(Red Pepper, Garlic, Salt, Soy Sauce, Yeast Extract, Red Pepper Paste, Soybean Paste), Monosodium Glutamate, Yeast Seasoning(Salt, Dextrin, Yeast Extract), Dried Chinese Cabbage, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein(Soybean, Wheat), Soy Sauce Seasoning*(Soy Sauce, Onion, Yeast Extract, Glucose), Soy Sauce *(Soybean, Wheat), Textured Vegetable Protein(Soy, Wheat), Garlic, Dried Carrot, Red Pepper, Palm Oil(Palm Oil, Glucose Syrup, Modified Starch), Dried Green Onion, Glucose, Acidity Regulators(Sodium Carbonate, Potassium Carbonate,pentasodium Triphosphate, Disodium Diphosphate), Black Pepper, Dried Mushroom, Yeast Extract, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Kelp Extract(Kelp, Dextrin, Salt, Oyster), Dried Seaweed, Guar Gum, Chilli Extract, Yeast Extract, Tocopherol, Riboflavin, Iodine *powdered Contains Wheat, Soybean.|
|Huy Fong Sriracha Ramen||Yes||Wheat, Modified Tapioca Starch, Palm Oil, Salt, Sugar, Chili Pepper, Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce (Chili, Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Acetic Acid, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Bisulfite (as Preservatives), Xanthan Gum), Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Yeast, Dextrin, Citric Acid, Soybeans, Soy Protein Isolate, Glycine, Tomato, Silicon Dioxide, Monosodium Glutamate, Vinegar, Kelp, Disodium Succinate, Oyster, Garlic, Onion, Sodium Carbonate, Potassium Carbonate, Pentasodium Triphosphate, Disodium Diphosphate, Ascorbic Acid, Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Parsley, Tocopherol, Polysorbate, Sodium Diacetate, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Paprika, Riboflavin, Spices, and Natural and Artificial Flavors.|
|Gefen Ramen Oriental-Style||No Added MSG. Likely Contains Natural Glutamate from Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein.||Noodle: Wheat Flour, Palm Oil, Salt, Mineral Salt.Flavor Packet: Salt, Sugar, Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Maltodextrin, Yeast, Onion Powder, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Chives, Silicon Dioxide, Pepper, Ginger Powder, Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Malic Acid, Caramel Powder and Garlic Powder.|
Why Does Ramen Have Added MSG?
There are five tastes known as sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. MSG provides an umami taste which is described as being savory. It is added to foods like sauces, soups, and snacks (i.e. Funyuns, Chex Mix Bold) to enhance the natural flavors.
The FDA, Health Canada, and other global health agencies have deemed MSG safe for consumption. However, some people may be sensitive to MSG and can experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea, tingling, flushing, and other mild issues.
Of course, avoid foods with added MSG or natural glutamate if you believe they are causing you health problems. Furthermore, seek assistants from a health professional as needed.