The U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center has come up with some amazing innovations over the years, but the new pizza MRE’s may be one that really lifts morale among the troops.
While you may never need your pizza to stay edible up to three years, military scientists have figured out how to make that happen. It may not be New York’s finest, I’ll bet it makes being on patrol in a foreign country feel a little more like home.
The Associated Press explains:
Scientists’ efforts were long thwarted because moisture in tomato sauce, cheese and toppings migrated to the dough over time, resulting in soggy pizza that provided the perfect conditions for mold and disease-causing bacteria to grow.
But on-and-off research over the past few years helped them figure out ways to prevent moisture from migrating. That includes using ingredients called humectants — sugar, salt and syrups can do the trick — that bind to water and keep it from getting to the dough.
But that alone would not help the pizza remain fresh for three years at 80 degrees, so scientists tweaked the acidity of the sauce, cheese and dough to make it harder for oxygen and bacteria to thrive. They also added iron fillings to the package to absorb any air remaining in the pouch.
As for the taste, it was described as having a moist crust that’s reminiscent of a pan pizza you would make in a toaster oven—though it is eaten at room temperature.
(via io9 / AP Photo/Steven Senne)