What is TBHQ?

Instant noodles are one of the most popular, on-the-go meal choices available today. They come in thousands of varieties, and are not only versatile, but convenient, inexpensive, and tasty.

Just what exactly is so attractive about ramen? Is it the chewy noodles, the robust seasoning, the vegetables, or the warm steam? Well, we’re biased for sure – but one thing is certain – we love our noodles for all the right reasons.

Unlike the popular brands of your college days-gone-by, our ramen noodle seasonings are crafted with simple, flavorful ingredients – sans the TBHQ, of course. 

What is TBHQ, you ask? We’re diving into that below! 

What is TBHQ?

If you’re someone who has a habit of reading food labels, one ingredient you may have run across (and probably can’t pronounce) is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. 

TBHQ is a synthetic compound used frequently by companies to prevent packaged foods from rotting and increase the shelf life. This additive acts like an antioxidant, but unlike natural antioxidants (like the ones found in fruits and veggies) this artificial ingredient has a very controversial reputation.

A huge array of products contain TBHQ, from cookies to frozen pizzas, to many instant noodles – but not Mike’s Mighty Good noodles.

In addition to finding this substance lurking in your food, you can also find TBHQ in biodiesel, resins, paints, lacquers, and varnishes. It’s interesting that something you find in foods made for human consumption can also be found in these inedible materials, no?

What Does the Research Say About TBHQ?

The United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has evaluated this substance extensively, and they found that TBHQ is *technically* safe for human consumption, with a caveat of… up to a certain point

As it turns out, large doses of this food additive can be serious; some studies have linked TBHQ to neurological damage and growth of stomach tumors in test subjects. 

Because of this, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) marked TBHQ as a substance to avoid

So, what is the answer?  

If you’re concerned about eating something that’s tied to potential health risks, get into the habit of reading your food labels.

The CSPI recommends that you try to stay away from the following: 

  • tert-butylhydroquinone
  • tertiary butylhydroquinone
  • TBHQ
  • butylated hydroxyanisole

A Mighty Good Difference

If you love instant ramen noodles, but not the additives that are so common in a lot of the popular brands, you have come to the right place. 

Riddled with an excessive amount of sodium and a mysterious list of preservatives as long as your arm, it’s no surprise that the leading packaged instant ramen brands are on the naughty list. 

At Mike’s Mighty Good, our fresh noodles stamp out the stigma surrounding easy-to-prepare ramen by fulfilling your craving for delicious, convenient, ramen noodles without any of the guilt. 

Our instant ramen noodles made each day in sunny California are TBHQ-free! 

“I’ve tried Mike’s Mighty Good, and it’s really delicious,” Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, a registered dietician and author, tells Well+Good.

We’re asked frequently what makes our ramen different from the $.10 packages you find on the bottom shelf at your grocery store. Here’s what sets our ramen noodles apart from the rest:

Our Ramen Tastes Really Good

If you’ve tried our ramen, you’ll know: it’s absolutely delish. One bite and you’ll be hooked. Unlike the over-salty bowls of your youth, our ramen doesn’t rely on mounds of sodium to bring the flavor; it’s perfectly crafted and expertly seasoned. And did we mention that we don’t add TBHQ to our ramen? Only the good stuff. 

Mike’s Mighty Good was founded on a simple question: “Why in the world doesn’t store-bought ramen taste like what you find in ramen bars?” 

Committed to creating a high-quality, tasty, and super-convenient instant noodle brand, we do things a little differently around here. Head to our How We Make Ramen page for more information!

Mike’s Mighty Good Contains Less Sodium

Speaking of seasoning, our ramen has about 40% less sodium (per ounce) than the leading brands of instant ramen noodles. Read: less salt, but more of the flavors that you love.  

We Care About the Planet

When it comes to sustainability, we take our commitment to the earth seriously! Our ramen is packaged in cups that are made out of paper that is sourced from sustainably-managed forests. 

Here are 5 of Our Favorite TBHQ-free Ramen Recipes:

Brussel Sprout Ramen


We love veggie ramen as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s fun to add a little pizzazz to your noodle creation. These brussels sprouts are the perfect addition to a hot bowl of savory ramen – we can’t stop eating it! You may have just found your new favorite Meatless Monday meal.

Coconut Shrimp Ramen


This hearty ramen is zesty and spicy, with a little added protein boost from the coconut shrimp. A bone-warming ramen recipe that comes together in under 20 minutes, you’ll be slurping down the broth to the very last drop, it’s just that good. 

Glazed Chicken Ramen


What’s better than chicken covered in a rich, ginger glaze, on a bed of fried garlic chicken ramen? We’ll wait. 

Talk about toppings! Saute some of your favorite veggies and soft boiled an egg for the perfect, ramen-bar quality noodle bowl. 

Pork Dumpling Ramen


Just when you thought ramen noodles couldn’t get any better, we upped the ante and added handmade dumplings. Oh yes we did. Easy and delicious, you can have the perfect dinner-for-one ready in under 30 minutes, with all of it’s pillowy goodness. 

Chili Roasted Salmon Ramen

chili roasted salmon ramen

If you cook one thing this week, let it be this! With a little chili paste, bok choy and a package of savory miso ramen, seafood has never been so appealing. 

We hope you enjoy eating our craft ramen almost as much as we love crafting our ramen. 

For more ideas, have a look at our recipes page, and feel free to leave any questions or comments below!

"Mike's Mighty Good has permanently changed my lunch game. Never knew an 'instant soup' could be so good."

Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant of the Stuff You Should Know Podcast