SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | APAC edition

News > R&D

Read more breaking news

 

 
Dispatches from IFT

Food industry and NASA share mutual goals for enhanced food quality

By Stephen Daniells , 21-Jun-2011
Last updated on 21-Jun-2011 at 17:30 GMT2011-06-21T17:30:31Z

Food industry and NASA share mutual goals for enhanced food quality

The food industry and NASA share mutual goals in producing higher quality, more nutritious foods, and lessons learned on both sides could ultimately help feed astronauts on missions to Mars and beyond, says a scientist working on NASA's advanced food technology project.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the recent IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans, Dr Michele Perchonok, project scientist, Advanced Food Technology for NASA explained that, although the food industry is not interested in products with a five year shelf life, emerging technology can enhance the quality and nutritional content of their products.

"We're looking at new processing method - microwave sterilization, pressure-assisted thermal sterilization. We believe, based on what we're seeing in the development of these processes, that the quality of the food starts out much higher," said Dr Perchonok.

The flow of information could also be two-way, with potential for the food industry to work with NASA in achieving the goals of improved food quality, she said.

"If they [the food industry] can find methods to provide a higher quality, a more nutritious product, a healthier product, I think that we can work together in that respect."

So will we get there?

NASA is transitioning away from short-term shuttle flights to exploring the potential of longer duration missions, perhaps to Mars. But providing astronauts with food of sufficient quantity, quality, and variety is an enormous challenge for the agency's food scientists.

"I hope we get foods that last five years," said Dr Perchonok, an 11 year NASA food science veteran. "If we go to Mars it's a two and a half year mission, and already with a six month mission on the international space station our current variety of about 180 food items is about the right amount of variety.

"However we do know from crew members that have been on the international space station twice that they do get tired of those foods after about six weeks of their second mission, so we know we're going to need at least 180 items, they cannot be eating the same 20 items for two years, so we're going to have to find that five year shelf life," she added.

Related products

More must be done to make the healthy choice the easy choice CSPI says

Companies, retailers must do more to make the healthy choice the easy choice, CSPI says

Consumer interest in healthy eating is at an all-time high, and in many ways...

FOOD VISION USA 2016 TRAILBLAZERS: Shaka Tea

FOOD VISION USA 2016... THE TRAILBLAZERS: Shaka Tea puts māmaki on the map, 'We're building an authentically Hawaiian brand'

Launching a new brand in the ready-to-drink tea market is not for the faint-hearted,...

FOOD VISION USA 2016 TRAILBLAZERs: Afineur cultured coffee

FOOD VISION USA 2016... THE TRAILBLAZERS: Afineur taps into fermented trend with ultra-smooth cultured coffee

Afineur – one of three winners in this year's trailblazers challenge at Food Vision USA –...

VoxPop: How small brands can keep image after big company acquisition

VoxPop: Do consumers still ‘trust’ smaller brands after they've been acquired by larger companies?

Large companies are buying up smaller brands here and there, yet the size of...

VoxPop: Is a plant-based diet the future?

VoxPop: Is a plant-based diet the future? We ask people in the industry

At November’s FoodVision USA, we snatched several attendees to get their take on the...

Plant-based burger just another protein option, says Beyond Meat

Plant-based burger just another protein option, says Beyond Meat: ‘All of a sudden, the meat aisle becomes the protein aisle’

The Beyond Burger – the first refrigerated plant-based patty to sit in the meat...

6 steps to take to “do good” and expand appeal to modern consumers

6 steps companies can take to “do good” and expand their appeal to modern consumers

Modern Americans expect much more from food companies today than they did in the...

FOOD VISION USA Innovate or die, says Rabobank

FOOD VISION USA: Dude, where's my consumer?

Many ‘legacy’ food and beverage brands are losing market share because they have “lost...

Sally robot salad maker offers mass customization, reThink Food

Rise of the machines: Meet the new wave of robots heading to your kitchen and your favorite restaurant

From robotic hands on rails above your worktop that will make your dinner, and...

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

In today’s highly competitive landscape, many food and beverage manufacturers try to set their...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Using food influencers to market products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How to select and best use food influencers to market products

While Americans are becoming more adventurous in what they eat, they often still need...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Global cuisine, complex nutrition claims in 2017

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Global cuisine will rise in 2017 along with complex nutrition claims

Despite a rising nationalism in the US born out of the contentious presidential election...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The rise of vegan cheese alternatives

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The cultivation and rise of vegan cheese alternatives

There is no denying that vegan is on the rise with consumers looking for...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast Defining, meeting consumer demand for clean label

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Defining and meeting consumer demand for clean label

The predictable upcoming onslaught of annual New Year’s resolutions to “eat better” could lead to surge...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Expanding cranberries’ appeal beyond the holidays & to a new generation

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Expanding cranberries’ appeal beyond the holidays & to a new generation

For most Americans cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple, but it isn’t the dish...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast Evolving soy’s marketing strategy beyond protein

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Evolving soy’s marketing strategy beyond protein

Soy may be best known in America as a source of high-quality protein, but...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Is low-FODMAP the new gluten-free?

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Is low-FODMAP the new gluten-free?

For the 45 million Americans who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, identifying food that...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Ugly produce can help cut costs & generate sales

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How ugly produce can help companies cut costs & generate sales

Most Americans are trained from a very young age to believe that beautiful is...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How to better reach Hispanic shoppers

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How to better reach Hispanic shoppers

With a collective spending power of $1.5 trillion, the Hispanic and Latino population in...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...

Promotional Features

Content Provided by Fonterra

Way forward with whey protein