You know that liquid gold at the bottom of an instant noodle cup? As intensely delicious as it may seem, it’s got more sodium than a salt mine, and really shouldn’t be slurped. To make it less messy to dispose of, Nissin, the company behind the iconic Cup Noodle, now includes a packet of seemingly magic powder that turns all that leftover broth back into a solid.
Technically there’s nothing stopping you from consuming everything in an instant noodle cup, but the added calories and sodium will quickly add up, making it problematic to eat products like Cup Noodle every day. That’s also a problem for Nissin, who wants people to consume its products as frequently as possible without any undesired side effects. (Obesity, hypertension, etc.)
The roundabout solution to the problem wasn’t to find more ways to reduce calories or sodium in its products, but for Nissin to create a little pouch of powder that makes disposing of leftover ramen broth easier than slurping it down. Pouring it into a trash bag can lead to more messes, and often there isn’t a sink nearby to wash it away. You could always just dump it on the ground, but then you’re that monster who dumps ramen broth on the ground.
Developed alongside Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, the Cup Noodle Remaining Soup Hardening Powder is as easy to use as dumping the powder into the broth, stirring it around, and waiting a few moments for the liquid to thicken into a gel that looks like it has the consistency of a watered-down Slurpee. Nissin doesn’t appear to reveal what the actual white powder is, but more than likely it’s a superabsorbent material like sodium polyacrylate that’s often used in products like baby diapers to contain other messes. Nissin does, however, warn users not to consume the gelatinous broth once it’s solidified.
Nissin isn’t selling the Cup Noodle Remaining Soup Hardening Powder presumably because it doesn’t want to encourage people to experiment with it. On its website, the company points out (translated) “It may not harden even if you use it for products other than the target products.” Instead, it’s including a single pouch with a variety of Cup Noodle products purchased through its website, although it’s not known if this is a limited-time thing.