It has been weeks now that the Taiwan cooking oil scandal is all over the news. Every day, a new victim of this scam is known. And today’s victim is Uni-President Enterprises. Indeed, as revealed a week ago, Uni-President had to recall 17 beef-flavored instant noodles containing animal food oil from Ting Hsin International Group (One of China’s biggest instant noodles company).
Of course, those recalls will have a cost for the company: Uni-President will have to throw away large amount of noodles. But this is not the issue we are interested by. A much bigger issue has arisen. The instant noodle maker Uni-President had to change the recipe of its noodles by replacing the contaminated oil by proper non contaminated cooking oil. The problem is that the noodles’ taste totally changed. It was beef-flavored and now it has become tofu-flavored. It is very hard to understand how it happened but from Peanuts Daily’s experience, we believe the bad oil used previously had some unique savory quality and by using it with noodles it would give a slight taste of beef. But, the new oil is just used for cooking and therefore don’t give any flavor to the noodles.
We went to interview Mr. George Zhu, quality control director of Uni-President, to ask him where the problem came from and what the solution is:
We had 17 different varieties of beef-flavored noodles. They actually all tasted the same but we were changing the packaging in order to convince consumers in buying them. We were very proud of our product because we succeeded in creating beef flavoring with 0% beef. The flavor was coming from the oil. That meant we actually produced vegetarian beef noodles. Now that we are not able to use this oil anymore, the noodles lost their taste. This is a big problem for us because we have to work in creating beef-flavored noodles without this oil. In order to do so, we might need to use real beef and therefore lose our vegetarian customers. This will be our biggest challenge in the future.
The tainted oil was maybe not healthy but at least it was tasty!
Author: Ms. Fis, Laurina.