The Creation of Cup Noodles
In 1966, Ando Momofuku, the founder Nissin Foods, had a trip to Europe and the U.S. to introduce the world’s first instant noodles, “Chicken Ramen”, to local supermarket managers. The managers split the noodles into pieces, put them into paper cups, add hot water and ate with forks. Ando realized that there are differences in eating habits between cultures as western countries do not use bowl or chopsticks. This experience inspired Ando to develop a new product “Cup Noodles”, noodles in a cup that can be eaten with a fork, and made instant noodles a food that can enjoy worldwide.
Challenge the Impossible
The first step of developing Cup Noodles was to prepare the container. The ideal container Ando had in mind would be in cup-shaped suitably for holding in one hand. After production and consideration of nearly forty prototypes, an innovative cup combined package, cooking utensil and serving dish into one container.
Although cup development had been successfully completed, filling the cups with noodles proved to be another problem. Ando came up with the idea of making noodle cakes larger than the bottom of the cup and suspending it in the middle of the cup. The noodles can be fixed firmly inside the cup and can be prevented from breaking during transportation.
Reverse Assembling Method
However, when Ando actually tried putting the noodles into the cups, they would tilt or tip over. Ando thought about the problem constantly. One night he was laying in bed and the ceiling looked spinning and he had a flash of insight: turn the noodle cake upside down and place the cup over it, then turn them back to right position, rather than drop the noodle cake into the cup. This counterintuitive idea solved the problem and mass production was feasible at the factory.
Cup Noodles is the instant noodles product using “ECO cup”. The ECO cup, which takes its name from the initial letters of the words in the motto “For Ecology, For Customers, For Originality”, is made of paper (wood). Trees absorbs CO2 when they grows, and generates CO2 when they are burning. It is earth-friendly resource because CO2 does not increase throughout the lifecycle. In additional to heat resistance, the eco cup can seal the noodles and ingredients tightly. The deliciousness of the noodles can be kept.
Secret of Deliciousness
Microwave oven cooking
ECO cup can be used in microwave oven cooking. The unique circular design at the bottom of the cup helps electromagnetic waves transmission. The soup can be heated rapidly while the noodles rehydrate and revert to chewy texture. The height of cup is extended to prevent noodles and soup spill from the cup.
Garnishes in Cup Noodles
Garnishes have an important role in Cup Noodles. They enhance flavour and also make the noodles look attractive. They are dehydrated by vacuum freeze drying method. This method prevents the loss of nutritional value and helps the materials to be reconstituted easily by adding water. No preservatives and artificial colourings are used.
“Cup Noodles, the world’s first cup type instant noodles, was released in 1971. Now, Cup Noodles is being sold in more than 80 countries and regions and the cumulative sales quantity had exceeded 40 billion serving. “Cup Noodles Spicy Seafood Flavour” from Hong Kong had proudly won the champion in “World Cup Noodles General Election” which was held in 2016, and successfully sold as the Big Cup series in Japan, bringing the deliciousness from Hong Kong to Japan.
Cup Noodles Light
A new type of Cup Noodles which has less than 200 kcal per serving was released. It offers fewer calories without sacrificing the taste and contains a generous portion of vegetable garnishes. It is recommended to women and customers who pay attention to their calories intake.
Air Drying Production Method
Noodles are produced with minimum amount of oil sprayed on the surface, without frying with oil, and then dry it with hot air. The oil contained in the noodles is reduced.
Three-layer Noodle Making Method
Noodle kneaded with dietary fiber is used in the middle layer of the noodle thread instead of part of wheat flour. This lowers the calories content of the noodles.