New MRE Packaging Tested by Military Research

Military researchers are trying to find innovative packaging solutions. They are thinking of such a technology that Meals Ready to Eat packages using it won’t even touch the food item.

Boxes

This technology will specifically help in keeping the food fresh for a longer period.

The use of non-aluminium foil packaging material in the new packages will serve a lot of purposes at the same time. It will reduce the weight of the MREs, the prices will be comparatively lesser and the new packages will primarily benefit the service members. By offering a better airtight barrier to lock the freshness of food and protect it, such MRE packaging is likely to find acceptance among service members.

These innovative packages under development by Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, will utilise nanotechnology. In the new MRE packaging, the materials to be used will have nanocomposite films that help nano-clay particles fit into thermoplastic resins.

In other words, such packaging would use synthetic materials, which the Army claims to be 1,000 times smaller than traditional materials. These will be woven more tightly so that it is easier to keep air and water away from the food items.

MRE packaging to Use Comparatively Smaller Materials
Most materials used for packaging food are not well suited to keep 100% moisture away from the food contents. However, the new MRE packaging will address this problem comprehensively. The new food bags developed by military researchers will have a shelf-life as high as three years.

For space applications, the shelf life would be around five years. This new packaging will not only keep food fresher for a longer period but will also lock in its nutritional value benefiting the consumer.

For the army, weight plays a crucial role. Whether it’s about loading down a supply vessel or a soldier, the Army is always searching for methods to reduce weight. The lighter material used in the new MRE packaging is expected to decrease the logistical burden of the warfighter, which is another of its benefits.

Dr Jo Ann Ratto, team leader for the Advanced Materials Engineering Team at CFD, said that the new MRE packaging now needs to undergo several tests to confirm whether they meet the standards set by the Army for food sacks or not.

What is the composition of MRE packaging?
If you’ve ever served in the military or been on a lengthy camping trip, you’re probably familiar with MREs, or Meals Ready-to-Eat. These energy-and-nutrient-packed meals are designed to provide sustenance in situations where cooking is not an option.

MREs are packaged in durable, lightweight foil pouches that can withstand being dropped, stepped on, or even shot. The packaging is also watertight, making it ideal for storing in humid or wet conditions.

Inside each pouch is a complete meal, including main course, side dish, crackers, dessert, or beverage mix. While the contents of MREs vary depending on the manufacturer, they all share one common goal: to provide the fuel you need to keep going when there’s no time for a break.

MRE, or Meal Ready to Eat, is a military ration that consists of packaged foods that are shelf-stable and do not require cooking. The MRE package is made up of several layers of different materials, all of which serve a specific purpose.

The innermost layer is a moisture-resistant polymer film that helps to keep the food inside fresh and free of mould. The next layer is a foil laminate that provides a barrier to oxygen and light.

This laminate prevents the food from spoiling or going bad. The outermost layer is a printed paperboard that helps to protect the contents from damage and provides instructions on how to prepare the meal. Together, these layers make up the MRE package, which is designed to keep food fresh and safe for consumption.

MRE Pizza is the New Thing
MRE Pizza packaging is the New Thing in the US. Although pizza originated in Italy, Americans were the ones who fell in love with it.

Their love of pizza has even extended to MRE. So, the MRE pizza was born.

What’s in MRE anyway
When you think of a soldier’s diet, the first thing you think of is probably an MRE. MREs are rations for troops in combat zones. They’re compact and easy to carry, while still providing high levels of energy.

But what exactly is in an MRE? The answer may surprise you. While MREs contain some processed foods, they also include plenty of healthy and nutritious items like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.

The average MRE contains more than 1,200 calories and provides all the essential nutrients a soldier needs to stay energised and prepared for battle. But the appearance is not appetising at all.

Problems Encountered
So why did it take so long for the Army to come up with this mouth-watering masterpiece? Turns out, designing an MRE pizza that can withstand the rigours of combat is no easy task.

The cheese and sauce had to be specially engineered to remain stable in a variety of climates. The crusts had to be formulated to stay fresh for a long period. But thanks to the hard work of Army food scientists, soldiers can now enjoy a delicious slice of pizza – even in the most hostile environments.

Partnership with the commercial food industry has made this project possible. To recreate pizza in MRE packaging, scientists need to control moisture, oxygen and PH levels.

The MRE pizza has to survive in the same container and remain palatable to consumers. Since its success, this project made some major implications for the army’s ability to feed soldiers in combat zones.

Now, anyone can enjoy a slice of pizza in MRE pouches, especially in places where an oven is not handy.

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