After conquering Earth, instant noodles head to space

After conquering Earth, instant noodles have now headed into space with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who brought a new zero-gravity version aboard the United States space shuttle Discovery.

Nissin Food, which invented instant noodles and now sells more than 65-billion packages per year, developed a special ball-shaped noodle that space-travellers can eat with a fork.

Space Ram, unveiled by the firm hours after Noguchi and his six fellow astronauts blasted off on Wednesday, comes in four different flavours—soy sauce, miso, curry and pork broth.

Noguchi helped test the early stages of the astro ramen, which astronauts can open and eat normally rather suck through a tube like other space meals.

The soup is thick enough to prevent spilling, Nissin said, while the noodle balls retain their shape after being re-heated.

Boiling water is not used in space so Space Ram can be heated with water of 70C, thanks to a unique blend of flour and starch, it said.

On hand for the unveiling of Space Ram was Nissin founder Momofuku Ando, who invented the world’s first instant noodle in 1958 and came up with the noodles in a cup version in 1971.

His Cup Noodles have swept the planet—and been widely replicated—with the Nissin group now boasting annual sales exceeding 300-billion yen ($2,7-billion).

Nissin have now patented the Space Ram technology but for the moment there are no plans to put it on—or even floating above—grocery store shelves near you. - Sapa-AFP


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