The latest invention by the United States Army? Pizza that lasts for three years, and according to Tech Insider, it “actually tastes good,” too. It’s the newest MRE (meals-ready-eat) ration that the Army will be handing out to soldiers staring in 2017. The pizza—which researchers have been working on since at least 2014—is packaged by the slice and comes fully assembled and baked.
Lauren Oleksyk, a food technologist at the US Army’s Natick Solider Research Development and Engineering Center, says that the pizza tastes like “day after pizza,” comparing it to the kind found in a school cafeteria. While it won’t taste nearly as good as a fresh pie pulled from an oven, it will “likely be decent enough to lift morale in a combat zone.”
— Steven Ferrell (@sferrellFedGov) February 10, 2016
To create a pizza that can sit around for three years and not mold, the Army turned to something known as “Hurdle technology.” This involves creating a series of barriers that “stop bacteria from forming on the pizza” over the years. This means controlling the oxygen levels in the package, the amount of acidity in the sauce, and layering the ingredients in a correct manner. Oleksyk says that the pizza uses regular components and dough, except for the sauce, which is made to be somewhat more acidic than what most people are used to.
Unlike McDonald’s hamburgers, these pizzas are meant to last on purpose. Not only is this revolutionary for the military, but it could also be an interesting option for college students and the generally lazy portion of the population. In theory, a box of the MRE pizzas could last a student through nearly their entire undergrad experience, and unlike Hot Pockets, they can be stored right under a bed.
[via Tech Insider]