November 2, 2011
MREs Utilize Latest In Food Technology To Boost Troop Energy Levels
Army food scientists are researching ways to boost the energy levels of troops in the field. At an Army Laboratory in Natick, Massachusetts, they are researching a beef stick that has caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee.
But caffeine is not the only additive that military food scientists are adding to Meals Ready to Eat (MRE). They are adding substances such as omega-3´s and curcumin, which are natural anti-inflammatories, and they are also adding maltodextrin, which is a complex carbohydrate that can give soldiers a much needed energy boost. The maltodextrin is being added to an applesauce they are calling Zapplesauce, according to the UK´s Daily Mail.
Not only are they putting nutritional additives into the MRE´s, but they are also changing the recipes to be more palatable to the soldier in the field. According to the Daily Mail some new additions to the family of meals include chicken and pesto pasta, feta cheese and tomato, ratatouille, garlic mashed potatoes, salsa verde and a strawberry-banana dairy shake.
Soldiers gave feedback to the new changes and the researchers discovered that soldiers wanted the food to look appetizing as well as be tasty. Jeremy Whitsitt, who works in business operations at the laboratory´s food center said, “If applesauce doesn´t look like applesauce, a war fighter is not going to eat it. Nothing takes out a battalion of soldiers quicker than bad food.”
The scientists studied the menu´s at T.G.I. Friday´s and Applebee´s restaurants for food inspiration.
Image Caption: Two Soldiers look at the components of the First Strike Ration during a recent evaluation in Fort Bliss, Texas. Credit: US Army
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