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. This technology will specifically help in keeping the food fresh for a longer period of time.
The use of non-foil 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 of 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 the 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 of time, but will also lock in its nutritional value.
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 war fighter, 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.
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