GARDENA ( — The ubiquitous, microwaveable lunch that has fed busy office workers and budget-minded college students for generations has been retooled for modern palates.

The iconic Cup Noodles brand, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, got a recipe makeover in response to consumer demands to make it healthier.

“They told us that without sacrificing taste, the three most compelling changes we could make to our recipe were: lower sodium, no added MSG and no artificial flavors,” Al Multari, president of Gardena-based Nissin Foods USA, said in a statement. “This is exactly what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Nissin says it has succeeded in reducing the sodium content by nearly 20 percent in its three best-selling flavors – chicken, beef and shrimp – and by about 15 percent in all its other flavors, removed the added MSG and replaced all artificial flavors with natural ingredients, such as turmeric, paprika and lime.

Cup Noodles was invented in 1958 by Momofuku Ando.


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