May 16, 2021
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first_imgThe military is known for engaging in top-secret, expensive, high-tech projects. These range from new vehicles and planes to weapons and armor. You may be surprised then to hear of the US Army’s latest project. Taking to task the horrible taste of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), the Army has finally cracked the code of the sandwich.Gone will be the days of bland peanut butter, flavorless crackers, and freeze-dried meatloaf. This sandwich has meat, cheese, and lettuce inside delicious bread. If you’ve ever seen a Hot Pocket, this is similar. It may not be from a five-star restaurant, but soldiers like it.Shelf life is the cornerstone of any MRE, and this sandwich fits the bill: it stays fresh for two years. For food to rot, you usually need oxygen and water. MREs that eliminate water have great shelf-life, but horrible taste. The two-year sandwich doesn’t shy away from moist ingredients, but it uses preservation techniques to keep the H2O in check.When jams — which have high water content — are stored, they stay fresh because a) sugar locks in the moisture and b) the container is air-tight. These are the exact ingredients in the two-year sandwich. It has sugar, and a packet of iron fillings shares the vacuum-sealed wrapping. The iron draws in excess moisture, converts it into rust, and traps it.A sandwich preserved with this method won’t last forever, but two years will suffice for the Army. Considering the bile that soldiers are used to eating, a year less of shelf life will be a welcome tradeoff.via BBC and Popscilast_img read more