SUBSCRIBE

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

Pizza makers should re-think marketing, formulation to appeal to women

Pizza makers should re-think marketing, formulation to appeal to health-conscious women, study finds

The cliché of pizza lovers as beer-pong playing frat boys or men sharing a...

Most Americans love ice cream, but are divided on favorite flavors

Americans are united in their love for ice cream, but divided over their favorite flavors

The dog days of summer are here and to help cool off consumers are...

Califia Farms’ new products, packs help drive nondairy category growth

Califia Farms’ new products, packaging help drive non-dairy category growth, CEO says

Sales of nondairy milk in the U.S. have almost doubled from 2009 to 2014...

Fibers from food waste offer clean label option

Fibers from food waste offer clean label option

Multifunctional fibers made from fruit and vegetable peals and pulps that would otherwise be...

Health benefits, convenient format drive sales of Matcha green tea

Health benefits, convenient format drive sales of Matcha green tea

Matcha tea, known for its vibrant green hue, is hitting its stride in the...

Tiny plants with huge potential: Introducing LENTEIN Plus and mankai

Tiny plants with huge potential: Introducing two new players to the plant-based protein market

Two firms that generated a lot of buzz at the IFT show this year...

Space... the final frontier for food science at Food Vision USA

Space... the final frontier for food science at Food Vision USA

To boldly go... where no food conference has gone before? Space food is on...

Supermarket guru Phil Lempert explains semi-homemade

Supermarkets have an unbelievable opportunity to build on the semi-homemade category, says guru

The growing semi-homemade category offers an ‘unbelievable opportunity’ for retailers, as Millennials want to...

MycoTechnology at IFT, mushrooms can remove gluten from cereal crops

Could mushroom mycelium add a new dimension to the gluten-free market?

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the 2015 IFT show, MycoTechnology CEO Alan Hahn recalls the...

Solazyme spills the beans on its 'gamechanging' algal oil at IFT 2015

Solazyme makes algae oil to order: ‘We take a normal crop cycle and compress that into three days’

There are lots of pretty cool things about algae oil, from its clean flavor...

Saturated fat guidelines out, food guidelines in?

Get rid of nutrients and focus on foods in guidelines, says sat fat researcher

Benoit Lamarche

Saturated fat researcher, Laval University

'It's business as usual': Davisco Foods on Agropur takeover

'It's business as usual': Davisco Foods on Agropur takeover

Polly Olson

Vice President of Business Development, Davisco Foods International

Snack trends 2014: Euromonitor says popcorn and thins

Euromonitor: Popcorn and thins epitomize ‘indulgence without the guilt’

Popcorn has exploded and thins have sliced into action in snacking – both riding...

InHarvest: Legumes, pulses steal spotlight from animal protein

At the 2014 Research Chefs Association Conference & Culinology Expo, FoodNavigator-USA caught up with...

SFA head: ‘A little term called class action suits’ is prompting GMO removal

SFA head: ‘A little term called class action suits’ is prompting GMO removal

Genetically modified organisms are safe and there is a need and place for them...

Could oats be the next gluten-free star?

Could oats be the next gluten-free star?

Oats, when the supply chain ensures no cross-contamination, are a gluten-free cereal grain. So...

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Veteran probiotic researcher professor Gregor Reid is not a happy man. It’s time the...

GMO-free Cheerios: Did General Mills buckle to consumer pressure? Will the move backfire?

GMO-free Cheerios: Did General Mills buckle to consumer pressure? Will the move backfire?

General Mills’ move to go GMO-free on its flagship Cheerios brand has caused quite...

Irish firm offers (cheaper) heat resistant probiotics for infant formula

Irish firm offers (cheaper) heat resistant probiotics for infant formula

Sinéad Doherty, PhD

Founder, AnaBio Technologies

Key Industry Events