SEOUL, Feb 2, 2010 (AFP) - Astronauts could soon be eating seaweed soup and spicy, garlic-laden meat dishes after South Korea won approval to send several national dishes into space.
The science and technology ministry said a prestigious Russian laboratory has approved ready-to-eat bulgogi, bibimbap, seaweed soup and mulberry juice as suitable fare for astronauts.
Bulgogi is a flavoured beef dish and bibimbap is a mixture of rice, meat and vegetables, infused with chilli and garlic.
The ministry said the approval came this month from the Institute of Biomedical Problems, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, following tests.
"The tests showed the foods helped improved digestion and allowed the growth of beneficial micro-organisms in the intestines," a statement said.
The move to send the dishes into space is the latest step in a campaign to promote South Korean food around the world.
South Korea has already sent its iconic national dish kimchi - pickled cabbage soaked in chilli and garlic - into orbit along with its first astronaut, aboard a Russian launch vehicle in April 2008. She shared the potent mixture with the crew of the International Space Station.