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Challenge : Food Packaging - Extend Life and Reduced O2

Challenge : Food Packaging - Extend Life and Reduced O2

NASA seeks safe, nutritious, acceptable, and varied shelf-stable foods with a shelf life of 3 - 5 years to support the crew during future exploration missions to the Moon or Mars. Concurrently, the food system must efficiently balance appropriate vehicle resources such as mass, volume, water, air, waste, power, and crew time. New food packaging technologies are needed that have adequate oxygen and water barrier properties to maintain the foods' quality over a 3 - 5 year shelf life. Oxygen ingress can result in oxidation of the food and loss of quality or nutrition. Water ingress can result in quality changes such as difficulty in rehydrating the freeze-dried foods. Currently the packaging used for freeze-dried foods and natural form foods does not have adequate oxygen and moisture barrier properties to allow for an 18-month shelf life for ISS. Therefore, those foods are over wrapped with a second foil-containing package which has higher barrier properties, resulting in increased mass and volume. NASA food packaging should be compatible with current and emerging food preservation technologies should have an oxygen transmission rate that shall not exceed 0.06 cc/m2/24 hrs/atm and a water vapor transmission rate that shall not exceed 0.01 gm/m2/24 hrs.

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Space Life Sciences - Exploring Space | Enhancing Life

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