Cup Noodle producer Nissin Food Products Co has admitted the instant noodles it makes and markets in Thailand may contain genetically modified soybeans.

Nissin officials said the company might have used a type of 'vegetable protein' extracted from genetically engineered soybeans to boost the volume of meat used as an ingredient of the Cup Noodle 1, which its Thai subsidiary is now manufacturing.

Only two years ago Nissin president Mr Koki Ando boasted of his company's decision not to use "any noodle ingredient that may contain genetically altered soy beans."

Nissin produces abroad over 2.2bn packets of noodles per year in more than 70 countries, and has 25 factories in eight countries. Domestic production is around 2bn packs.