'Space Bibimbap' to Be Served on Regular Flights

      April 17, 2012 10:48

      Korean cuisine originally developed for consumption by astronauts in space is likely to be served in the form of in-flight meals on regular, earth-bound flights.

      The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute said on Monday that it signed a deal with the association of Jeonju bibimbap producers to transfer its techniques for making bibimbap adapted to suit conditions in outer space. The association is planning to supply the ready-to-make and portable space food to domestic budget carriers.

      The so-called "space bibimbap" developed by KAERI in 2010 looks like a dried block and contains less than six percent water. The block transforms into a normal bibimbap dish after it is soaked in 70-degree Celsius water for 15 minutes.

      The dish has been sterilized by a process of radiation to prevent microorganisms from growing on the rice as even a small amount of these can pose a health threat in outer space. It is also made to be cooked at a low temperature because water does not boil in space.

      Now KAERI is pushing forward with a plan to commercialize the dish as a part of wartime rations, an emergency food or a quick energy boost. The institute has developed 17 space food products. Among them, kimchi, ramyeon, and sujeonggwa (persimmon punch) were offered to Korea's first astronaut Yi So-yeon in 2008 on her journey into space.

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