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.
The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.
A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).
British scientists have gained new insights into the compound in plants that plays a vital role in the natural process through which plants grow.
In the food industry, botulinum toxin is associated with a severe form of food poisoning caused by improperly preserved food. Researchers have developed a technology that addresses the role of botulinum toxin in both food and cosmetic applications.
Nestlé Purina has announced it will expand its operations in Cumberland County, Pa., hiring 94 additional employees and adding new processing and packaging lines to its Mechanicsburg location.
The report, prepared by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in coordination with the Office of the Chief Economist, summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values, and the spread before and after the fire and plant closure at the Tyson Holcomb, Kan., plant, and before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lee Kum Kee, an Asian sauce provider, has announced that its Xinhui Production Base was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification.
According to the Associated Press, Amazon has debuted a new smart shopping cart called the Dash Cart.
Diageo, makers of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, and Guinness, has created a 100% plastic-free and paper-based spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood.