This holiday, why are the spicy strips all over the country “stale”?

Data Map: Citizens Participate in the Eating Hot Tiao Contest Photography / China News Agency reporter Yang Huafeng

The 50 cents a bag of spicy sticks at the school gate is a memory of many people. It is salty and spicy and fragrant, and the more chewed it is, the more fragrant it is. However, spicy strips with high oil, high salt and many additives have frequent food safety problems and have also been labeled as “junk food”.

Spicy sticks are a home-grown “grassroots” food, will this tear off the “junk food” label?

This holiday season, your spicy strips may not taste the same!

On October 1, the industry standard of “Seasoned Noodle Products” was officially implemented. Under the new standard, the number of food additives used in seasoned noodle products has been reduced by more than 70%, the salt content has dropped by 17.7%, and the oil content has dropped by 10%.

Will the taste of spicy strips change after “reducing salt and fat”? Are chili bars considered healthy food?

Why set standards for spicy strips?

The industry standard of “Seasoned Noodle Products” clearly defines the seasoned noodle products, that is, wheat flour is used as the main raw material, and food accessories and food additives are added. Seasoned and packaged ready-to-eat instant food, commonly known as “spicy sticks”.

As a local snack, is it necessary to issue a separate industry standard?

According to the data released by Meng Suhe, honorary chairman of the China Society of Food Science and Technology in July this year, the number of spicy strip-related enterprises has decreased from more than 4,000 10 years ago to more than 150, and the output value has instead increased from 50 billion to 50 billion yuan.

The changes in these two sets of data show the importance of standard construction to industry leadership. “The release of industry standards raises the threshold for enterprises to enter.”

“Before the introduction of industry standards, the production of food such as spicy strips mainly followed the industry standards of pastry or puffed food. If the positioning of the food is different, the standards for the use of additives will be different. It will cause some regulatory problems.”

Li Yu, chief engineer of China Food Industry Association, said in an interview with China News Service Guoshi Express that “the introduction of the industry standard for “Seasoned Noodle Products” is conducive to the unification of supervision.”

In the view of registered dietitian Qian Cheng, the introduction of any standard is to regulate the market. Previously, different manufacturers followed different standards. If the standards are unified, manufacturers can avoid possible regulatory risks. , it will be more convenient for the regulatory authorities to conduct random inspections.

“When consumers are eating, they can know very clearly and clearly what the content of additives in what they eat is up to the standard.” Qian Cheng said.

Can reducing salt and oil reduce the taste?

According to the new regulations “reducing salt and fat”, will the taste of spicy strips change?

“As long as the salt and oil are reduced in any food, the flavor will change accordingly.”

Qian Cheng said: “If the salt of spicy sticks is reduced, the saltiness of the sticks will definitely decrease, and people who eat sticky sticks often feel that the taste is not enough. If you want to reduce the salt. If the taste is not reduced, some adjustments must be made at the technical level such as food research and development.”

He introduced that there are currently some solutions on the market, such as the use of aerobic yeast extract or some other fresh-enhancing ingredients, so that the umami and salty tastes have a synergistic function. “This way, even with less salt, it’s still flavorful.”

“After the spicy strips require ‘reducing salt and fat’, I believe that more and more manufacturers will pay more attention to the health of consumers during production.” Qian Cheng said, “Production of low-fat, Low-salt snacks not only conform to the development of the times, but also give consumers more choices.”

Can the spicy strips be eaten in the future?

“Too spicy, too oily, and eating too much is unhealthy.” This is the first impression many people have of spicy strips.

In recent years, chronic diseases such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease have become important factors threatening the health of Chinese residents. Reducing high-sodium diets has been incorporated into public health strategies.

“Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents 2022” recommends that adults consume no more than 5g of salt and 25-30g of cooking oil per day.

High-oil, high-salt spicy strips, under industry standards, can they tear off the label of “junk food” and become a healthy food?

In this regard, Li Yu said that this should also refer to the specific provisions on the ingredient indicators in the standard.

In terms of the physical and chemical indicators of the industry standard of “Seasoned Noodle Products”, the excess fat limit is less than or equal to 27, and the chloride is less than or equal to 4%. Li Yu said: “This means that more than a quarter of the 100g spicy strips are oil and at least 6.6g salt. It is still a food with quite high oil and salt content.”

“No matter how healthy snacks are, they also need an appropriate intake.” Qian Cheng said: “For a seasoned noodle product such as spicy strips, it can reduce the amount of food consumed.The content of oil and salt is also limited. If the oil and salt content is really reduced, the original flavor may be lost, and the entire production process will also be greatly changed. At that time, this product may be far from the spicy strips we know now. . “

Talking about the so-called “junk food”, Qian Cheng believes that this is just a popular name, not an academic concept in nutrition. “It is difficult to say that a certain food is junk food or healthy food, and it is also necessary to pay attention to the reasonable combination of food.”

Qian Cheng reminded that although the oil and salt content in spicy sticks has been reduced compared to before, it should still be eaten in moderation. (Author: Wang Lichen)

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