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

Standardized language for expiration dates will help reduce food waste

Standardized language for expiration dates should help reduce food waste, according to GMA

According to the nonprofit Feeding America, 126 billion pounds of food is wasted each...

Vox Pop: In sports nutrition, 'usually just protein'

Vox Pop: 'Protein, and that's pretty much it actually'

Sports nutrition is a booming industry, with Euromonitor estimating a value of $7.4bn in...

Food Starter helps entrepreneurs break into food and beverage industry

Food Starter helps entrepreneurs break into the competitive food and beverage industry

Launching a food business takes more than secret family recipe – it also takes...

Braskem packaging changes color if a product is unfit for consumption

Braskem packaging changes color if a product is unfit for consumption

Marcia Pires

polymer science researcher , Braskem

How to shift perception of GMOs from good vs evil to simply a choice

Could the biotech disclosure law help shift perception of GMOs from good vs evil to simply a choice?

In many ways, the conversation about GMOs has been a debate about good versus...

SmartLabel helps brands meet consumers’ mounting clean label demands

SmartLabel gains traction as a tool for brands to meet consumers’ mounting clean label demands

While SmartLabel is still in its relative infancy, manufacturers are flocking to the technology...

Potential for Nutrition Facts label delay should not slow compliance

The potential of a delay to Nutrition Facts label changes should not slow compliance efforts

Assuming FDA does not delay the deadline for the new Nutrition Fact label as...

Arctic Zero CEO: Clean Label not just low sugar, low calorie, low fat

Arctic Zero’s new social media video campaign shows how ‘clean label’ is more than just ‘free-from’

With the launch of four new varieties, Arctic Zero produced a video to tell...

Manufacturers navigate greenwashing allegations

Manufacturers walk tightrope between demand for natural products and greenwashing allegations

Today’s consumers want products that are natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly, but manufacturers hoping...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: What snacks are hot and where consumers buy them

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: What snacks are hot and where consumers are buying them is evolving

US consumers are snacking more than ever, according to IRI data, but an analyst...

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Confections hold steady in face of war on sugar

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Confections hold steady in face of the war on sugar

Despite significant headwinds generated by the escalating war on sugar and increasing consumer preferences...

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Driving ecommerce with omnichannel marketing

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Driving ecommerce sales with an omnichannel marketing approach

Sales of food and beverage online may be lagging significantly behind those of other...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Will Moringa steal kale's top superfood spot?

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Will Moringa knock kale out of the top superfood spot?

For years kale has reigned supreme as the go-to superfood for many Americans thanks...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Fair Trade certification tackles coconut supply

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Could Fair Trade certification help avoid a coconut shortage?

Ever since coconut water burst on to the US market several years ago, Americans...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Emerging class action litigation targets

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Emerging class action litigation targets

The number of class action cases filed against food and beverage companies continues to...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Threats to bees threaten whole food industry

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Industry stakeholders seek to take the sting out of threats to bees’ health

Spring has finally sprung, which means birds are chirping, crops are blooming and bees...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Top marketing strategies for natural products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Clean label 2.0 and other top marketing strategies for natural products

When it comes to marketing products in the natural channel it seems like there...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The opportunity for medicinal mushrooms

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The rising opportunity for mushrooms in food and beverage

Growing awareness of the powerful health benefits of mushrooms as well as increasing demand...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional Organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional helps conventional farms make the switch to organic

Despite organic’s strong appeal with double-digit year-over-year growth since the early 1990s, and the...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...

Promotional Features

Content Provided by Fonterra

Way forward with whey protein