DEVELOPMENT OF DEHYDRATED AND BITE-SIZED FOOD ITEMS
Technical Report,01 Mar 1963,31 Mar 1964
ARMY NATICK LABS MA NATICK
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Prolonged aerospace missions necessitate severe restrictions on the weight and size of all material carried on board the space vehicle. These limitations must be applied to the astronauts food, as well. Therefore to meet these restrictions and to provide optimum nutrition, the US Army Natick Laboratories NLABS developed, evaluated, and supplied, a variety of prototype dehydrated and bite-sized foods to the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories for further evaluation. The formulations and production guides for each food item are included. Pillsbury developed various dessert bite-sized food pieces as well as a good food coating for encapsulating the food cubes for use in aerospace systems. Compressed 0.75 in. cubes with rounded corners and edges were suggested for aerospace missions. The encapsulation process employed two immiscible systems, a film former in the continuous phase surrounding a liquid, or once liquid, discontinuous phase, and a plasticizer to form the stable dispersion. The stable dispersion when applied to the dessert bits adhered tenaciously and then air dried to a smooth, non-sticky, moisture resistant, and oxygen resistant coating. The best coating formula consisted of 45 melted lard, 9 sodium caseinate, 2 gelatin, 3 cornstarch, 41 sucrose, and 100 ml water. On the basis of taste panel evaluations of these foods, an acceptable, nutritious 3-day menu cycle with 4 meals per day can be recommended for aerospace missions. The menu supplied 2500 kcal per day, of which 48.6 of the energy was supplied by carbohydrates, 32.7 by fat, and 18.7 by protein.