Some Instant Noodle Science

http://www.nippon.com/en/features/c00512/” target=”_blank”>Nippon.com has an interesting article about the science of how instant ramen is made. Many people don’t know that it is fried, although for a time in the 1990s, Campbell’s made a baked version. One new thing I learned in this story was about how “space ramen” was made:

In 2005, Nissin Foods developed instant noodles for astronauts, called Space Ram. The noodles come in bite-size bundles coated in egg whites to hold them together in a low-gravity environment. The soup was also made thicker to prevent spattering that could spread inside the space vessel. The flavor is quite strong because a person’s sense of taste is dulled in space. The starch content of the flour for the noodles was also adjusted so that the noodles could be cooked with hot, 70°C water; this was necessary because  water cannot boil in the space shuttle due to the low air pressure.

It’s not clear from the story if “Space Ram” has been used before in space, does anyone know?

New Instant Ramen Museum Opens in Yokohama

In addition to the one instant ramen museum already in Ikeda, Osaka, a new one, the Cup Noodle Museum is opening now in Yokohama.
The new museum will Momofuku theatre featuring CG movies about Momofuku Ando’s life and philosophy. Kids will enjoy playing in the Cup Noodle Park, which will allow kids to “become the ‘noodles’ as they pass through the production process from creation to shipping.” The part that I think will be the best is the “Chikin Ramen Factory”, where you can learn how to make your own “home-made” instant noodles.

The new museum is opening in about a week, Saturday Sept 17.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/07/cup-noodle-museum_n_952903.html

Ramen Causing Global Warming?

A new release from the IPCC shows that ramen noodles can in fact cause up to 13.8% of global warming! The press release from the IPCC is below:

Geneva, Switzerland – March 10, 2010 – The Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced today that after further review of the data, ramen noodles manufacturing, transportation, and cooking is responsible for up to 13.8% of annual human based carbon emissions. “Throughout their lifecycle, ramen noodles can emit up to 18.2 quadrillion tons of CO2,” stated Christopher Field, Ph.D., Co-chair of IPCC Working Group on Noodles. “We ask that everyone reduce their consumption of ramen, or if you must eat ramen, share with friend, or use the microwave to heat the noodles.”

What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint? If you’re not into sharing your noodles, the best way is simply to eat your ramen without cooking it. Simply crush the noodles in the bag, open the bag, and add some seasoning. It can make a tasty and satisfying snack and still be better for the planet.

Full text of the press release, including tables and figures is available on the IPCC website.

Make a Ramen Video, Win a Nintendo Wii

The LA Examiner has some news up about a contest put on by LA-based RamenKlub. RamenKlub specializes in Korean ramen, delivered to all 50 states. The contest is fairly simple, make your own original “How to make Ramen Video.” Once you make it, post it on Youtube and send the link to the folks at RamenKlub.com and you’re entered. Good luck and please let me know if any reader from the site wins!

The Ramen Diary: 7 Days of the Noodle Follow-up

Well, it looks like she did it. Addie Broyles in Austin managed to navigate another week on the poorly designed interstate system and eat ramen for 7 days, with her family’s support! (I’ve never been able to get my wife to buy in to this kind of thing). As long as you ignore the opening sentence and the finger-wagging about nutrition this is a great article, including some of the recipes.

Great story with a nice photo collage as well.

Excerpt:

Ramen noodles aren’t exactly the pharaoh of the food pyramid, but at less than 20 cents a package, they are cheap and easy to make, which makes them a favorite among college students. Just the thought of opening the crinkly plastic package and dumping a block of noodles into boiling water might take you back in time.

But in a recession like this one, maybe it’s time to give ramen another chance.

With a few vegetables, an open mind and suggestions from ramen lovers on Twitter, could I turn that brightly colored package of ramen noodles into the base of a really good meal? To find out, I proposed a weeklong challenge to my husband: to make ramen interesting enough to eat for seven days in a row.

Gerber Unveils New Top Ramen Baby Food

Gerber is announcing a new product this week, baby food made out of Top Ramen noodles!

Gerber Top Ramen Dinner

Gerber Top Ramen Dinner should be hitting the shelves by May and is part of Gerber’s “2nd Foods” line. The “2nd Foods” line is for after you give your baby the basics like creamed veggies and fruits. Since I have a seven month old myself, I think this a great idea. Kids will love the flavor of the noodles and it’s healthier than something like mac and cheese.

Top Ramen was chosen to partner with Gerber and the company said that they believe this to be a “great opportunity to get kids hooked on Top Ramen early” and that it will “be the primary driver of sales growth in our best demographic”. Top Ramen also hopes to release what they are calling a “Mommy and Me” double pack, which will contain one pack of regular Top Ramen and one jar of Top Ramen Dinner from Gerber.

The only problem I see is that the jars will have the noodles cooked until they are basically mush since babies would find it hard to eat those long noodles. I guess the full-sized “adult” noodles have to wait until the kid is old enough to hold a fork or chop sticks.

I’ll post another update after I get to buy some of these, I’m curious to see if they really kept the Top Ramen flavor true to style and what varieties will be available.

The Mile High Ramen Club

Looks like if you fly Cathay Pacific Airlines, you can get all you can eat Ramen!

It was only two weeks ago that we took our own advice and booked the Hong Kong direct from New York-JFK on Cathay Pacific for a grand total of $795. It isn’t our first time and it definitely won’t be our last, but this flight begins a whole new chapter for us in terms of which airlines we’ll choose in the future, because you see, Cathay Pacific gave us all the free Ramen noodles we could eat.

Unfortunately for me, I need to get to SFO or LAX before I’m ramen eligible, all their routes from Denver are “partner routes” which means an airline where you even have to pay to recline your seat.

Insecticide Found in Ramen in Japan

Yuck!

Full Story

YOKOSUKA, Japan, Oct. 25 (UPI) — Nine instant noodle cups emitting strong chemical odors have been found to contain insecticides, Japanese health officials said Saturday.

The Japanese Consumers’ Cooperative Union said Friday that nine of the 29 reported cases of contaminated instant noodle cups have been confirmed as containing traces of the insect repellents naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.

Among the confirmed cases was a September incident in Yokosuka, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, involving a 50-year-old man who noticed the chemical odor after making two servings of instant ramen.