In 1948, entrepreneur Momofuku Ando founded what was to become Nissin Food Products Co.,Ltd in Ikeda, Osaka, Japan. The company started off small and family operated, producing only salt.
With Japan still suffering from a shortage of food in the post-war era, the Ministry of Health tried to encourage people to eat bread made from wheat flour that was supplied by the United States. Ando wondered why bread was recommended instead of noodles, which were more familiar to the Japanese. The Ministry's response was that noodle companies were too small and unstable to satisfy supply needs, so Ando decided to develop the production of noodles by himself. This experience brought him to the realization that "Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat."
On August 25, 1958, at the age of 48, after months of trial and error, Ando marketed the first package of precooked instant noodles using his flash-frying method. Ando began selling his now most famous product, Cup Noodle (カップヌードル Kappu Nūdoru?), on September 18, 1971 with the masterstroke of a waterproof, polystyrene container.
As prices dropped, instant raman soon became incredibly popular. Worldwide demand reached 98 billion servings in 2009. As of 2007, Chicken Ramen is still sold in Japan and now retails for around ¥60, which is approximately one third the price of the cheapest bowl of noodles in a Japanese restaurant.
According to The Financial Times, Ando's invention of Cup Noodles in 1971 helped spark the popularity of instant noodles overseas. He had observed that Americans ate noodles by breaking them in half, putting them into a cup, and dousing them with hot water. He also noticed that they ate the noodles with a fork instead of chopsticks. Ando was inspired, and felt that a Styrofoam cup—with a narrower bottom than the top—would be the ideal vessel for holding noodles and keeping them warm. Eating the noodles would then be as easy as opening the lid, adding hot water and waiting. This brought a new level of simplicity and efficiency that would go on to transform Nissin's fortunes forever.
The similarity between the food Ramen and the technique Raman creates an immediate and direct link. The way Ando popularized Ramen noodles is exactly what we seek to do with Raman Spectroscopy.
I hope this helps to elucidate the reason behind the selection of the name Project MOMO for our little device.
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