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The Inventor of Instant Noodles
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In 1958, Momofuku Ando invented "CHICKEN RAMEN ™", the world's first instant noodle product. His achievement brought a revolution in culinary culture. In 1971, he developed "CUP NOODLE ®", the world's first cup-type noodle product. That seed sown by Momofuku Ando has grown into an industry that supplies 91.6 billion servings annually to consumers throughout the world. In the editorial in its January 9, 2007 edition, the New York Times expressed appreciation for the achievements of "Mr. Noodles," who it said deserved an eternal place in the pantheon of human achievement.

The development of Instant Noodles

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The technology of "CHICKEN RAMEN ™" developed by Momofuku Ando in a humble shed behind his home involved rapidly drying noodles through flash-frying in oil. This method became the basis for all instant noodle production. His revolutionary "CUP NOODLE ®" concept in which a single container serves as packaging, cooking vessel and serving dish was the basis for cup-type instant noodles. These two inventions by Momofuku Ando revolutionized culinary culture on a global scale.

Contributing to industry development

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In 1964, Momofuku Ando established the Japan Convenience Foods Industry Association to promote the growth of the instant noodle industry. Through the Association, he contributed to guidelines for fair competition and product quality, including the establishment of food certification standards for instant ramen under the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS). He was also a very early pioneer of manufacturing date labeling. In 1997, he was appointed as the inaugural Chairman of the International Ramen Manufacturers Association (Now the World Instant Noodles Association).

Development of ramen for space

Photo 4©NASA / JAXA

Another of Momofuku Ando's achievements was the development of Space Ram, the first noodles to be consumed in outer space. After NASA's stringent quality and safety check, the product was carried into space by Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in July 2005. Space Ram are based on technology developed over many years, including systems to prevent the noodles and soup from escaping in zero gravity. Having spread throughout the world, instant noodles have now carried his ideals into space.

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