With ongoing advances in technology and equipment, scientists continue to make strides in extended space travel, preparing to one day make trips to Mars and other planets in the solar system. But if such space missions are to be manned by humans, scientists must develop ways to feed them on these extended journeys. A group of researchers may be able to help in this regard.
Scientists at Washington State University have developed a process to make macaroni and cheese shelf stable for up to three years. The process, which triples the shelf life of ready-to-eat (RTE) macaroni and cheese, involves microwave-assisted thermal sterilization (MATS) and a special plastic protective film that the researchers created. The key to successfully extending the shelf life of RTE food is finding a technology that can prevent oxygen and other gases from coming into contact with the food.
To make RTE macaroni and cheese with a three-year shelf life, the scientists first use MATS to sterilize the food in a layer of the special protective film. Next, they coat the film with layers of metal oxide, which significantly delays gases from penetrating the film. The metal oxide also has an organic overlay that resists microscopic cracks. The combination of these elements makes a high-barrier packaging that preserves the quality of food for an extended period of time.
While the research team is not yet working directly with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), it has worked with the Army to test the product because such RTE meals would be useful to soldiers on long deployments. The researchers have contacted NASA about designing a simulation to test how RTE macaroni and cheese would fare in space. The results are published in the journal Food and Bioprocess Technology.
France-based Carbios is developing the first biological technology to transform the end-of-life of plastics, says Martin Stephan, deputy CEO of Carbios.
Before the emergence of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, one of the biggest complaints of busy individuals was not having time to prepare and cook balanced meals. A new appliance shows promise in solving that problem—for those who can afford it.
The food business is “brutal,” says Nancy Preston, a U.S. Army veteran who decided in Iraq that she wanted to work in that business. After learning more about the barriers to entry including the incredible financial risk, little access to capital, and a high likelihood of failure, Preston and her husband decided that instead of opening their own café or food truck, they’d focus on helping simplify the process for other food entrepreneurs.
Researchers at MIT have developed a sensor to monitor the plant hormone ethylene to determine when fruits and vegetables are about to spoil.
The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has posted the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s final scientific report, an objective review of the latest available science on specific nutrition topics.
According to the Associated Press, Amazon has debuted a new smart shopping cart called the Dash Cart.
Customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains declined by 10% in the week ending July 5 compared with the same period one year ago, an improvement over the previous week’s decline of 14%, reported The NPD Group.
Targeted taxes on sweetened beverages and policies that strengthen nutritional standards for meals and beverages at schools may be effective tools for decreasing the purchase of sweetened drinks and reducing obesity among children living in poverty, according to two studies.
According to the Cornell Alliance for Science, a new report out from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations predicts there will be a global shortage of protein-rich foods this year due to COVID-19 and other factors.