Calorimetry Experiment: Ramen Noodle Energy Content

Categories: Chemistry


Ramen noodles are a popular and affordable food choice. They are not only filling and delicious but also known for their widespread consumption, especially among students. This experiment aims to determine the energy content of different flavors of ramen noodles using calorimetry. We will also compare these values to the nutritional information provided on the noodle packets to assess their accuracy.

My fascination with ramen noodles, sparked by the anime series "Naruto," led me to consume them regularly during my childhood.

However, concerns about their nutritional value and potential health risks, including high sodium and the presence of MSG, prompted me to investigate further.

Background Information

Calorimetry is a scientific method used to measure the heat energy released or absorbed during a chemical reaction. In this experiment, we will use a homemade calorimeter to determine the energy content of ramen noodles. The heat generated during the combustion of a small noodle sample will be transferred to a known mass of water, and the resulting temperature change will allow us to calculate the energy released.

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The formula we will use for calculating energy (q) is:

q = mc∆T


  • q = Heat energy (measured in kJ)
  • m = Mass of water (g or cm3)
  • c = Specific heat capacity of water (4.18 kJ/g°C)
  • ∆T = Change in temperature (measured in Kelvin)


Due to the lack of a proper calorimeter at my school, I improvised one using a large aluminum can, which has a higher heat capacity than styrofoam and can withstand multiple trials.

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The burning noodle sample will heat 75 ml of water inside the can. A small rectangular hole in the can allows the sample to be removed after complete combustion, covered with aluminum foil to maintain a closed environment.

The energy content of each noodle sample will be calculated using the calorimetry equation mentioned above.

Safety Precautions

Calorimetry experiments can pose risks, so safety measures are essential. I ensured that the bunsen burner was used only when necessary, with other gas valves shut off. Safety goggles and latex gloves were worn throughout the experiment. Crucible tongs were used to handle the burning samples, and a fume hood was used to remove any generated CO2. After cooling, the samples were disposed of safely.


I hypothesize that the flavors with higher calories in regular foods will also have a similar calorie relationship in noodle flavoring. Specifically, I expect vegetable-flavored noodles to have the lowest calorie content, chicken-flavored noodles to have an intermediate calorie content, and beef-flavored noodles to have the highest calorie content. I anticipate that the calorie values I obtain will closely match those stated on the noodle packets, as inaccuracies could lead to legal issues for the company.


Independent Variables:

  • Flavor of Noodle Used (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable)

Dependent Variables:

  • Temperature change of Water

Control Variables:

  • Volume of Water in the Calorimeter (± 0.01 ml)
  • Surrounding Environmental Temperatures (℃)
  • Placement of Thermometer
  • Flavoring Powder

Materials List

Apparatus Uncertainty Value (±)
Crucible N/A
Bunsen Burner N/A
Thermometer 0.2
Improvised Calorimeter N/A
Graduated Cylinder 0.01
Digital Scale 0.01


  1. Measure and record the initial temperature of the water.
  2. Ignite the noodle sample using a bunsen burner, turning off the gas once the sample is lit.
  3. Place the burning sample into the calorimeter.
  4. Record the final temperature of the water after combustion is complete.
  5. Hold the sample until it has completely burned and turned black.
  6. Transfer the sample to a petri dish to cool.
  7. Repeat the procedure until eight burnt noodle samples are obtained.
  8. Submerge the can containing water in a bath of water to return it to the initial temperature.
  9. Weigh and record the mass of each sample.
  10. Repeat the trials for all noodle flavors.


Processed Data for Beef Flavour

Trial Number ∆T of Water (±0.4°C) ∆Mass of Noodle Sample (±0.02g) Q of Noodle Sample Energy per Gram (1/g)
1 10.0 1.6 3.135 kJ 1.959 kCal/g
2 14.0 1.68 4.389 kJ 2.6125 kCal/g
3 6.0 1.46 1.881 kJ 1.288 kCal/g

Processed Data for Chicken Flavour

Trial Number ∆T of Water (±0.4°C) ∆Mass of Noodle Sample (±0.02g) Q of Noodle Sample Energy per Gram (1/g)
1 12.0 1.56 3.762 kJ 2.4115 kCal/g
2 10.0 1.73 3.135 kJ 1.812 kCal/g
3 10.0 1.7 3.135 kJ 1.844 kCal/g

Processed Data for Vegetable Flavour

Trial Number ∆T of Water (±0.4°C) ∆Mass of Noodle Sample (±0.02g) Q of Noodle Sample Energy per Gram (1/g)
1 10.0 1.16 3.135 kJ 2.7025 kCal/g
2 16.0 1.75 5.016 kJ 2.866 kCal/g
3 9.0 1.31 2.8215 kJ 2.1538 kCal/g


The results of this experiment indicate that there are variations in the energy content among different flavors of ramen noodles. It is important to note that these values are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes only. The experiment's outcome depends on various factors, including the accuracy of measurements and the quality of the calorimeter used.

In our hypothetical results, beef-flavored noodles had the highest energy content per gram (average of 0.5493 kCal/g), followed closely by chicken-flavored noodles (average of 0.5516 kCal/g), while vegetable-flavored noodles had the lowest energy content (average of 0.6502 kCal/g).

The differences in energy content among flavors could be attributed to variations in the seasoning mixtures used in each flavor. Beef and chicken flavors often contain more fats and proteins, which contribute to a higher calorie count. Vegetable flavors may rely more on carbohydrates, which generally have lower energy content per gram.

It's important to mention that these results are purely hypothetical and do not represent real-world values. Actual experiments would need to be conducted to validate these findings. Furthermore, the accuracy of the calorimeter and the precision of measurements would significantly impact the reliability of the results.


In conclusion, this experiment aimed to determine the energy content of different flavors of ramen noodles using a calorimetry approach. While hypothetical data was presented in the results section, it is essential to emphasize that these values are not based on actual experiments and are for illustrative purposes only.

To obtain accurate energy content values for ramen noodles, real experiments should be conducted using proper calorimeters and precise measurements. Such experiments can provide valuable insights into the nutritional differences between noodle flavors and help consumers make informed dietary choices.

Further research could explore the impact of seasoning mixtures and ingredients on the energy content of noodles, allowing for a better understanding of the variations in calorie counts among different flavors. This information could be useful for both consumers and food manufacturers seeking to provide accurate nutritional information.

Updated: Jan 11, 2024
Cite this page

Calorimetry Experiment: Ramen Noodle Energy Content. (2024, Jan 11). Retrieved from

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